KEPSA: ‘Condemning survivors of gender based violence is unacceptable’
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) has condemned use of derogatory language on both mainstream and social media to support acts of GBV stating that condemning survivors is unacceptable.
In a statement to newsrooms on Tuesday following the incident at Homeboyz Radio, KEPSA said any form of violence against men or women is a violation of human rights.
“The remarks made on air were, by all means, insensitive and undermining to the victims of GBV – specifically to women and girls. This kind of insulting and improper language on mainstream media is unconscionable,” said Mr. Nik Nesbitt, KEPSA Chairperson.
He was referring to offensive remarks made by show presenters Shaffie Weru, Neville, and DJ Joe Mfalme about one Eunice Wangari, 20, who was reportedly thrown from the 12th floor of a building by a man after refusing his sexual advances. The trio has since been sacked.
Cognisance of this fact, the KEPSA boss noted that the alliance runs a program on mitigating GBV against women and girls, and an initiative on ‘Men in Silence’ to curb GBV against men.
“Misogyny has no place in Kenya in this day and age. As the Women on Boards Network, we advocate for a society where both men and women feel valued and supported to contribute to the socio-economic growth of this country. Every woman should feel protected and empowered. As a country we owe this to every girl and woman,” said Ms. Catherine Musakali, KEPSA Director in charge of Gender and Governance.
According to the alliance, it is possible to maintain decency and respect in a democratic space where freedom of speech is encouraged and there must be accountability and uphold professionalism and respect for human dignity.
KEPSA further stated that it supports the regulatory actions set by the Communications Authority and particularly the corrective measures that will ensure that staff are trained on handling gender matters beyond this unfortunate incident.
The alliance is also proposing implementation of a gender-based policy that will be used as a blueprint for training media practitioners with an aim to promote responsible reporting on gender sensitive matters.
As a membership organisation, with media companies in its membership, KEPSA said it continues to encourage zero-tolerance to GBV with full recognition of the role that media plays in shaping societal behaviour coupled with the mandate of the Private Sector in gender equality and women empowerment.
KEPSA Advisor, Mr. Mike Eldon noted that the incident revealed the need to educate the society more on gender parity issues.
“The big challenge always with such education is to go beyond mere awareness raising to attitude and finally behaviour change,” he said.
This is a clarion call for all businesses in the Private Sector and beyond to play a role in building a morally upright society for the benefit of generations to come.