Leave our women alone to wear what they want

November 28, 2014 OPINION/NEWS




Joe Khamisi

One would have expected that two weeks after the first shameful act of woman-stripping in Nairobi, scores of people would be cooling their heels at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison. But no!

The culprits are still roaming our streets and perhaps subjecting other women to similar despicable acts, even though their faces are recognisable from videos captured by bystanders and transmitted throughout the world via social media.

That first single dehumanising act in Nairobi a fortnight ago against an innocent woman exercising her constitutional rights to wear a dress of her choice, has kicked off a maniacal frenzy of criminal acts against females in Kenya.

Surprisingly the attacks, mainly at bus stops, are taking place in the open, during daylight, by thugs who are either high on drugs or suffering from different forms of mental disorders, without any intervention from the police or well-meaning citizens.

It is therefore easy to conclude that women are the most abused Godly creatures in Kenya today.

Even their views expressed through street demonstrations and protests have been ignored; while some male chauvinists continue to make comments on social platforms that are downright insane. That is why I commend the Law Society of Kenya for putting its foot forward to explore justice for victims of gender-based violence.

It is true that policemen cannot be everywhere to secure the safety of every woman at all times, but the fact that authorities have not arrested any of the perverts (at least to my knowledge) deeply angers me and many Kenyans. These people derive pleasure from mocking, tormenting and indignifying women. They are sadistic and sick, and have no place in our community of people.

In any case, men – or anyone else – have no right to dictate what women should wear. That is an individual choice protected by the Constitution.

It is good to note that finally the Government has formed a special task force to watch out for these criminals, but it is my view that this sole act, coming at this late hour when half a dozen women have been subjected to humiliation, will not make our streets any safer nor raise the confidence levels of our females.

If there is one issue that calls for public education it is this one. Instead of Ministries and Governors spending huge amounts of money sending condolence messages, printing Christmas cards and placing advertisements in the media congratulating leaders, they should use that money to educate Kenyans on moral values, human dignity and respect for individual liberties.





Joe Khamisi

Joe Khamisi is a former journalist, diplomat and Member of Parliament. He is also the Author of the Politics of Betrayal:Diary of a Kenyan Legislator, a political memoir about the situation in Kenya between 2001, when the ruling party of President Daniel Arap Moi, the Kenya African National Union (KANU), merged with Raila Odinga’s National Development Party.

The book also narrates cases of corruption in Parliament and in the Media and records Senator Obama’s visit to Kenya in 2006. As a friend of Barack Obama Senior, the author also remembers the times and tragedies of the American-educated economist.

Joe Khamisi’s second book, a biography, ‘Dash Before Dusk’, is currently awaiting publication.

In addition to the above books, Joe Khamisi blogs at http://joekhamisi.wordpress.com/ , http://joekhamisi.blogspot.ca/ and for media enquiries can be reached at [email protected]

(This article is courtesy of Joe Khamisi and was originally published at the above blog on 26th November 2014)


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