A disturbing clip of a woman being stripped naked at the CBD by a group of touts operating the Embassava route has been going viral on social media since yesterday.
As seen in the clip, which was apparently recorded by one of the goons, only one man comes to the aid of the helpless woman and begs the dozens of the other men who are pulling, pushing and tearing her clothes to let her be. Sadly, the Good Samaritan is overpowered and the poor woman ends up being stripped bare, including her inner garments.
The fact that the disturbing incident was happening in broad daylight, in Nairobi’s CBD for that matter, and there was no police in sight leaves a lot to be desired, much worse the act was barbaric, and abuse of the dignity not just of this woman, but to all the woman in Kenya.
It doesn’t matter whether or not the woman was indecently dressed, after all what’s the benchmark for what is considered decent? Furthermore, how did stripping her bare aid in enhancing her decency?
Efforts to get feedback from the management of Embasava Sacco have proved futile after, one of the supervisors contacted alleged that he is not aware of the incident.
As a woman, I can boldly say that we live in a society with scores of perverted men and most of the time, regardless of whether you are wearing a dress that runs all the way to your shoes or one that ends at your knees, it’s almost impossible to walk in some areas, especially downtown or in some suburbs within the city, without getting inappropriate remarks from men. Some will even go to the extremes of spanking /pinching your bottom or even brushing across your bosom.
Dare confront the culprits and you will be hit by the harsh reality that you are fighting a losing battle as they will either hurl unprintable words towards you or even threaten to beat you up, all this as the ever-curious Kenyan onlookers just stop to listen, see the drama and walk away.
WOMEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA CONDEMN EMBASSAVA TOUTS
A section of women who are fed up with such violations on women considering that this is not an isolated case, they have taken to social media to condemn the obscene actions targeting their gender. The women are seeking for government intervention to stop this abuse and are also calling on the Embassava Sacco to take disciplinary measures against the touts who committed the offense.
Subsequently, an online petition against the violation of women in the country has been created at AVAAZ.ORG.
“We are concerned by the trend where citizens will find it allowable to strip naked women and go scot-free. We are disturbed that the gains made in ensuring the equal right of women and men in this country are being trampled on by citizens who go unpunished. This is a high level of impunity that must be addressed.” Reads part of the petition, which is to be delivered to Nairobi governor, Evans Kidero, Senator Mike Sonko and the OCPD Nairobi.
NO JUSTIFICATION FOR SEXUAL VIOLENCE
Cases of rape and defilement have been on the rise in the country lately, and in most cases, the perpetrators walk scot free, much to the agony of the victims. This mostly occurs due to the inefficiency and seeming incompetence from the police. Often in cases such as these, evidence crucial for prosecution of perpetrators is lost.
If such bold barbaric acts from egocentric men, who will violate women just to satisfy their egos, are entertained, then soon we will see girls and women getting raped under the ‘justification’ that they provoked it.
The girl child in Kenya should grow up proud of being a woman and her body and not afraid of the dangers her gender poses to her because of perverted men in the society.
Read our article on it here: ‘#MyDressMyChoice: Kenyans protest against how women are treated‘
Edit: In the near immediate aftermath of this harrowing event the #MyDressMyChoice movement was launched promoting a conversation about how women are treated in Kenya, about their agency and how their choice of clothing should not define their morality.
It has been a controversial topic but, to the Kenya Forum team, it seems obvious that a choice of clothing does not in any way allow for others to chose to mete out their own summary judgment, especially when they do so practicing a form of sexual violence.
The trending hashtag has provided a great chance for us to have much-needed conversation but it has also, alarmingly, highlighted how frequent cases of public strippings are in this country.
Update on this story and how the judicial system has begun handling this case here: ‘Matatu crew that sexually assaulted woman charged with capital offence’
If you are interested in this subject consider reading – though be aware it makes for a harrowing experience – more on sexual assault and it’s handling in Kenya in these articles:
‘Bullying or ‘monolization’: allegations of sexual assault and alcohol in schools‘
‘‘Justice for Liz’ case against rapists toughened in changed charge sheets‘