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Why women are primary victims of crime in Kenya – The Last Door

11 March 2024
Women often face socioeconomic disadvantages, making them more vulnerable to various forms of crime.
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1. Socioeconomic Disparities: Limited access to education and economic opportunities can push women into situations where they become targets for exploitation and violence.

2. Gender-Based Violence: Gender-based violence, including domestic abuse, sexual assault, and rape, remains prevalent in Kenya. Women are disproportionately affected by these crimes, with cultural norms often perpetuating the belief that women are inferior and therefore more susceptible to abuse.

3. Cultural Norms and Discrimination: Deep-rooted cultural norms and discriminatory practices contribute to the victimization of women in Kenya. Traditional gender roles often restrict women's freedom and autonomy, leaving them with little recourse when faced with violence or exploitation.

4. Lack of Legal Protection: Despite legal protections against gender-based violence, enforcement remains a challenge in Kenya. Many women are hesitant to report crimes due to fear of retaliation or lack of faith in the justice system. This lack of trust further perpetuates the cycle of victimisation.

5. Economic Dependence: Women in Kenya are often economically dependent on their partners or families, leaving them trapped in abusive relationships or vulnerable to exploitation by employers or strangers. Limited financial resources can make it difficult for women to escape dangerous situations.

6. Inadequate Support Systems: The lack of comprehensive support systems for survivors of gender-based violence further exacerbates the challenges faced by women in Kenya. Limited access to shelters, counseling services, and legal assistance leaves many women feeling isolated and powerless.

7. Cultural Stigmatisation: Survivors of gender-based violence in Kenya often face stigma and ostracisation from their communities, further discouraging them from seeking help or speaking out against their abusers. This cultural stigma perpetuates the cycle of violence and victimisation.

8. Systemic Inequality: Women in Kenya face systemic inequality in access to resources, opportunities, and justice. Addressing the root causes of this inequality, including poverty, patriarchy, and cultural norms, is essential to combating the victimization of women in the country.

The victimisation of women in Kenya is a multifaceted issue rooted in socioeconomic disparities, cultural norms, and systemic inequality. Addressing these underlying factors requires a comprehensive approach that includes legal reforms, increased access to support services, and efforts to challenge discriminatory attitudes and practices. Only by working together can we create a safer and more equitable society for all.

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