FOR many years, cases of sexual violence against girls have been reported in Kilifi County, a situation that contributed to the increase in the number of young girls who became pregnant.
Through various measures, the national and county governments, as well as stakeholders and non-governmental organizations, joined together to start a strong fight against sexual violence among girls, including banning discos and night parties that have become the main source of pregnancy earlier.
Now the children’s department in the county has said that cases of sexual violence have taken another direction where many boys are raped. According to the children’s officer in the Kilifi North Constituency, Mr Daniel Mbogo, the situation in one way or another has been contributed to by the laxity of the non-governmental organizations in abandoning the male child and abandoning him.
Mr Mbogo says this situation makes the ‘boychild’ vulnerable to abuse, while they continue to defend and build up the girl child. Mr Mbogo asked the stakeholders to take the issue seriously and intervene quickly.
“I want the organizations that are heavily involved in the affairs of the girl child to also start dealing with the male child who is dying at the moment,” said Mr Mbogo.
This is happening while the women’s group ‘Kilifi Mum’ in Kilifi County, is killing the social group ‘Kilifi Boychild Empowerment’ to defend the rights of male children.
Speaking to press, the chairman of ‘Kilifi Mum’ Ms Kibibi Ali said that many organizations in Kilifi county are defending the rights of girls and women.
“Starting with us at Kilifi Mum, we have been focusing on defending girls and women when they are oppressed and because of that we have seen that there is a big challenge in the grassroots because we have excluded a male child,” said Ms. Ali.
She said that it was a big mistake and then the group decided to take action to set strategies to free Kilifi’s son. “These days there are many dirty things that target the male child and now the female child has had relief because she knows her rights and can defend herself,” she said.
She said that apart from reported cases of female children being molested, they continue to receive cases of male children being sexually abused by one man or several men. Mrs. Ali gave an example of several cases of prostitution including one case in which a boy was sexually assaulted by his father.
Another case is where a boy was attacked and raped while he was grazing and also a boy was raped by a gang of five youths. Chairman of Kilifi Boychild Empowerment CBO Mr Birya Menza said the group will be the voice of the male child.
“For a long time now, the male child has been isolated from society and the one who is given priority is the female child while she continues to go missing,” he said.
Mr. Birya said that the opium of being a son is not allowed to complain or cry when he goes through a challenge has made him discriminated by the society while he has a heart that cannot control other challenges.
“If a female child is abused by a male child, it becomes gender violence, but if a female child abuses a male child, it is considered as a normal issue. No action is being taken for him to get his rights,” he said.
He wanted the government and stakeholders to stand firm and defend the son.
“Many men have experienced sexual violence from women, some have even been beaten, killed and deprived of their marital rights because they have no defender,” he said.
Mr Birya also challenged the national and county government and organizations that when they go to the field to send tampons and underwear to girls, they should remember boys and send them underwear.
“The time has come to remember the son and give him hope in life by doing things that will make him feel that he will not be discriminated against,” said Mr Birya.
Ustadh Mahamoud Hambal from the Kenya Muslim Youth Alliance (KIMYA) claimed that the son has been isolated in different ways by society, organizations and even the national and county governments.
“During our walk, we found that as the son continues to be separated from him, he is increasingly freeing himself and getting lost,” said Ustadh Hambal.
The religious leader said that it has been a challenge to involve young men in different programs as many of them have given up on life and consider themselves to be of no importance in society.
“Many boys have given up and we find that it is easy for them to be persuaded to join illegal groups and serious crimes because they have seen that society, organizations and governments have all failed to recognize them and defend their rights,” he said.
Ustadh Hambal, who also oversees the program to help poor children go to school, said that male children are excluded even in terms of education, as many organizations that help poor children to join Form One discriminate against them.He gave an example and said that out of 20 places for poor children required to join Form One, male children are given only five places.
“If this situation continues, we will not have young men who will go to school. We will not have young people to help this nation and it will come to a time when even our daughters will lack masters,” he said.
Ustadh Hambal regretted that many male children are used to sell drugs and they are also heavy users of narcotics. On his part, the head teacher of Kilifi Township boys’ high school, Mr Charo Katana, said that the issue of male children has become sensitive in this country because they are actually in danger.
“A large number of Kenyans are young people and especially those in primary, secondary and university schools and that is a generation that needs help very quickly as they face many challenges in their lives,” he said.
He said that these problems start in the community and when they get to school, they carry part of those problems and they continue them, a situation that affects them greatly.
“These challenges affect them greatly when they are in school and become an obstacle to achieving their life goals,” he said.
Mwalimu Katana said that the important issue is that the boys need education to make their minds bloom and realize that they have a dignity to build and a destiny to reach and all that will come only if they find people to help them expand their minds.
He challenged the parents whom he mentioned to be the first teachers of the children, to take the opportunity to fulfill their responsibilities. He said that a large number of boys drop out of school following challenges at home while parents of the same sex cannot be found even at school.
The head teacher mentioned that the male parents have released their responsibilities and assumed the responsibilities of raising their children who even take them and attend school meetings.
“The role of a parent is not only clothes and food but daily advice because if you don’t talk to your child, he will find someone else who will tell him different things that will affect his life,” he said.
The Kilifi Mum Group is the one that initiated the strategies to create the Kilifi Boy Child Empowerment CBO to defend the male child in Kilifi County who is currently dying.