Thursday 6 September 2012

Women hold Africa Summit to fight gender violence

By Albert Nyakundi in Nairobi
Section of participants during a break
Participants pose for a picture
Forty six gender activists and social entrepreneurs from 18 African countries recently met in Nairobi for a three-day summit to launch a campaign to protect women and girls from all forms of violence. The Summit has been convened by V-Day, a global movement that seeks to end violence against women and girls worldwide. The movement was founded by a playwright and activist Eve Ensler. Speaking at Nairobi's Safari Park hotel, Ensler said one out of every three women on the planet will experience violence during her life time. ''Stopping this violence is as crucial as addressing the issues of disease,hunger and climate change.'' Said Ensler. V-Day Kenya director,Agnes Pareyio said the summit will help women create a powerful network that would help srengthen their own campaigns against gender violence across Africa.''Bringing women together will help break isolation,shame and taboo that often surrounds sexual violence since survivors often believe that violence is associated with their families and culture alone.'' Observed Pareyio. She is currently a councillor for Upper Milili ward of Narok county,and is eyeing the women representative seat in the county. The summit will also propose a long term mechanism to end violence against women in Africa and support activists on the ground who have been fighting for years to end gender violence especially female genital mutilation. Dr. Denis Mukwege of the Democratic Republic of Congo and chair of the V-Men's movement called on all men across Africa to end violence against women.

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