Engaging Men in the Fight Against Violence on Women in Kakuma

While official camp health statistics report low cases of Gender-Based Violence, mostly against women and girls in the Kakuma camp, it is widely recognized that a significant amount of unreported Gender-Based Violence continues to occur. It is on this backdrop that FilmAid and partner humanitarian agencies, among them UNHCRLutheran World FederationInternational Rescue CommitteeNorwegian Refugee Council and National Council of Churches of Kenya based in Kakuma refugee camp have organized a one day event to create awareness on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) against women and girls in the camp, focusing on engaging men in the fight against this outrageous act.

The event, dubbed “Do Good Feel Good” Campaign will be held at Malakal in Kakuma, bringing together men, women, girls and boys  from  Burundi, Congo, Somalia and Sudan communities to discuss the role of men in the fight against SGBV on women and girls, most of whom went through traumatizing situations in their war-torn countries and had to flee to seek refuge here. 

“The fight against GBV should involve both the victims and the perpetrators of the act,” said Eddie Musoke, Outreach Facilitator at FilmAid, Kakuma refugee camp.

According to a UNHCR report on gender-based violence, the thought of involving men in the fight against GBV is as result of the realization that the fight against this outrageous act can only be defeated by the involvement of both men and women in such campaigns. Living in unprotected and congested settlements such as refugee camps, women and girls are particularly exposed to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and in such environments, the perpetrators of this outrageous acts go unpunished due to weak justice system.

The Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC) report indicates that 90% of violence against women are perpetrated by men. Culture has been pointed out as the main contributor to violence against women as most men still subscribe to wife battering as a way of discipline. Alcoholism and financial insecurity among the men are the other reasons contributing to violence against women.

IRC reports, one out of every three women worldwide will be physically, sexually or otherwise abused during her lifetime. The International Rescue Committee helps survivors to heal, delivering care to victims of sexual assault, and by bringing women together for mutual support. Through innovative skills programs, IRC help women gain economic independence.

Event organizers have also lined-up fun-filled activities including; the first edition of the coveted Miss Malakal beauty pageant competitions, music performance by rising refugee artists including; King Moses, Smart and Bolingo and traditional dances.

The event is sponsored by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration comes as the world prepares to mark 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence starting November 25th to December 10th.