Published: May 24th 2021

Simply defined, Female Genital Fistula is a birth injury caused by prolonged and obstructed labour without access to timely, quality medical treatment. The obstruction causes a hole between the birth canal and bladder and/or rectum leaving women with incontinence problems.

Men need to shame fellow men who are SGBV perpetrators. It is strange how many women know a fellow woman who has been raped but not as many men know a fellow man who is a rapist. So who, then, are these rapists?

Media houses and personnel should be keen to encourage positive cultures in their reporting rather than perpetuate a social ill. Sensitization and capacity building for media personnel in GBV issues would be a great place to start.

women in their own little way are contributing to this year’s theme of the International Day of Rural Women and the International Day of the Girl Child celebrated every 15th of October and 11th of October respectively. This year’s themes for the days being: Rural women and girls building resilience and My voice; my equal future respectively.

Often when conversations on sexual and reproductive health rights arise, what mainly comes to mind is Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), teenage pregnancies and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). We would, however, be remiss not to have sex work as part of this conversation.   ~  By Ismene Feksi

For sexual consent to have been properly obtained, it must be obtained freely, be reversible, informed, enthusiastic and specific. Consent is never implied by things like your past behaviour, dressing, or environment. Sexual consent is always clearly communicated — there should be no question or ambiguity. Silence is not consent. 

When the COVID 19 pandemic broke out, it was soon accompanied by a spike in the number of gender-based violence (GBV) cases. This relationship between the two was attributed to several factors including job losses and the tension that arises when a couple spends too much idle time together.

In October 2020, my graduate school program director, Professor Morrison, shared with me an article she had come across in the Washington Post. It was the story of baby Blessing. A new-born who had been rescued from a dumpsite in Kibera in the dead of the night where her mother had dumped her.  As I read the article, my mind swarm with several theories of what could have driven Blessing’s biological mother to give her up. It was obvious that Blessing was the result of an unplanned pregnancy. 

Menstrual Hygiene Day has been celebrated on 28th May of every year since 2014. This year’s theme is ‘We need to step up action and investment in menstrual health and hygiene now!’  ’  In 2020, the Ministry of Health in Kenya launched The Kenya Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) Policy (2019-2030). 

While responding to SGBV survivors, it is best to use a survivor-centred approach. The United Nations defines a survivor-centred approach as one that seeks to empower the survivor by prioritizing her rights, needs and wishes. It means ensuring that survivors have access to appropriate, accessible, and good quality services including health care, psychosocial support, security and legal services.

Published: May 10 2021

An update to the status of African woman

The heightened lack of agency for women in relationships due to the Coronavirus pandemic and highlight the need for collaborative efforts in ensuring that gender parity is achieved.

VUUQA e-mag focuses on gender equity and features women working towards ensuring that women have equal rights and opportunities as men.

Published: April 03, 2021

I got the opportunity to share my opinion on rape culture in today’s dailies.

Rape culture and gender based violence is taking root in Kenya. Date rape and femicides are sadly becoming a reality for women. It appears the concept of consent in not understood by most.

Published: July 11, 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic continues to hold countries at ransom with seemingly no end in sight. In Kenya, the continued state of lockdown and curfew, means that not only are businesses slowly crumbling but so is the medical industry. Hospitals are recording low numbers of walk in patients, let alone admissions. This could be because of the directive by the Ministry of Health for individuals to only visit hospitals when it is extremely necessary. It could also be because individuals are afraid of being diagnosed with the virus and being put in quarantine which would mean incurring costs that not many can afford in the current economic situation.

I was seated in my office immersed on a pile of papers when Mary (not her real name) walked in. From her face you could tell that she was tired though happy. I immediately offered her a seat and once she had gracefully taken a seat we exchanged pleasantries. It was a pleasant surprise to see her soon and even more to see her with a baby.

About two months ago, the high rate of teenage pregnancies made news headlines in the country. Expectedly, a national debate has ensued about who is to blame for the problem and what the possible solutions are. The blame has been placed on lowered moral standard within the society, poor parenting, “western entertainment” and a lack of reproductive health education amongst adolescents.

On May 28th, to mark the Menstruation Hygiene Day, Kenya’s Ministry of Health with the support of partners and stakeholders launched the Menstrual Hygiene Management Policy. This came as a welcome development for women and girls around the country because finally, menstrual health would be addressed.