Thursday, February 07, 2008

Meanwhile, in Kenya

Violence is not yet under control after the recent elections. Women have been forgotten in the mediation to end violence but not by the violence itself:

As post-election violence escalates in various parts of the country, thousands of people are each day fleeing their homes to seek safety in makeshift camps, becoming known as internally displaced people, or IDPs.

It is now recognised that women and children are bearing the brunt of the raging conflict, and now the red light is on. Sexual abuse has been thrown into the equation, and these two vulnerable groups are suffering double jeopardy.

First, they have to deal with the trauma of being violently uprooted from comfortable and familiar environments to live under deplorable conditions where their existence is dependent on relief efforts.

Then, it is emerging that sexual violence targeting women and girls is rampant in the camps. It follows that the recovery of women and children already traumatised could be fundamentally compromised.

Reports from the internal refugee camps paint a grave picture indeed, and there is a likelihood that the cases coming to the attention of aid workers could just be the tip of the iceberg.

So it goes.