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PS Wang’ombe meets Transport stakeholders to tame GBV in matatus

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In a step aimed at curbing Gender Based Violence [GBV] directed towards women in the matatu industry , the Principal Secretary in the State Department of Gender and Affirmative Action Anne Wang’ombe on Friday met various representatives of Transport industry to deliberate on measures geared towards containing the vice.

This comes a week after Wang’ombe condemned an incident that showed the man dressed in civilian clothes along Thika Superhighway in a vehicle belonging to the Bybuss Trans dragging the lady
passenger before loading a slap on her sending her to the ground.

The meeting whose discussions agreed on various areas of collaboration brought together representatives from the public transport sector including Matatu Owners Association, Bodaboda Safety Association of Kenya, Tuk Tuk Operators, National Police Service, Nairobi City County Government among others.

The parties present recognized the urgent need to create a safer and more inclusive environment within the transport industry, acknowledging that gender-based violence poses a significant threat to the well-being and safety of passengers and employees.

“The State Department has committed to working with all players in the public transport industry to developing and implementing comprehensive training programs to raise awareness about gender-based violence, promote gender equality, and provide guidance on appropriate actions to prevent and respond to incidents of violence.All parties have agreed to work together to establish effective reporting mechanisms within the transport industry to ensure that incidents of gender-based violence are promptly and appropriately addressed. This will involve the development of clear protocols for reporting and responding to such incidents.” part of the statement read

“The State Department for Gender and Affirmative Action will collaborate with the public transport industry to review and develop policies that promote gender equality, inclusivity, and zero-tolerance for gender-based violence within the industry.All parties express their commitment to working closely together to implement these initiatives and to foster a culture of respect and safety within the transport industry. It is recognized that addressing gender-based violence requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders, and this collaboration marks a significant step towards achieving this goal” further added the statement

Wang’ombe disclosed that strategic implementation efforts to ensure a dedicated complaints hotline [1195] with which passengers and matatu crew will be informed on the various ways of preventing and reporting cases of sexual harassment and assault to National Transport Safety Authority [NTSA] have been established.
Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya National Executive Chairman Kevin Mubadi on his part noted that plans are underway to launch public awareness amongst riders and passengers on the importance of creating a safe and respectful environment within the transport industry.

Former Mlango Kubwa MCA Patricia Mutheu who is victim of GBV having been
assaulted by police officers in 2020 after being attacked by police officers in a very ‘violent manner’ was also present during the meeting

A National campaign aimed at taming GBV in public transport was recently launched.The initiative running from November 25 to December 10 targets drivers,conductors, touts,boda boda riders.
It’s enlightening them on what constitutes GBV,and what the law says about such offenses as well prevention and response.

GBV includes physical violence, sexual harassment, verbal abuse and other violations that affect the dignity and wellbeing of especially women and girls

In 2017,the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and Equality Now, a human rights and gender equity lobby group launched a campaign to end sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) in Public Service Vehicles (Matatus) in Kenya.

In a joint statement, the two organisations said that many cases have been reported in which women and girls have been sexually assaulted in PSV’s prompting them to create awareness.

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