Valentine’s Day, traditionally a celebration of love and affection, is fast approaching. As we prepare to exchange tokens of affection, share sweet moments, and express our deepest emotions, it is crucial to recognize that not everyone has the privilege of celebrating this day unscathed. In Kenya, the rising rates of femicide cast a grim shadow over the festivities, urging us to turn Valentine’s Day into a platform for awareness and action against this heinous crime.
The alarming surge in femicide rates in Kenya demands our attention and collective action. This Valentine’s Day, let us transcend the boundaries of romantic love and extend our compassion to the victims of femicide. It is a day to commemorate those who have lost their lives and stand united against the violence that continues to plague our society.
Valentine’s Day should not merely be about the exchange of roses and chocolates but an opportunity to address pressing issues affecting our community. Femicide, the intentional killing of women, is a stain on our national image. While Kenya is often celebrated as a beautiful and vibrant nation internationally, the dark cloud of femicide tarnishes this reputation, necessitating urgent action.
Creating awareness against femicide is not just a matter of choice, it is a moral obligation. As we express love to our partners, let us also extend that love to our sisters, mothers, and daughters who have fallen victim to this senseless violence. By doing so, we pave the way for a safer and more inclusive society.
Valentine’s Day provides a unique platform for advocacy. We can organize events, launch social media campaigns, and forge partnerships to spread the message far and wide. Let’s transform this day of love into a day of action, standing together against femicide and promoting an environment where women can live free from fear.
Femicide is not a women’s issue, it is a societal issue that demands the attention of leaders and policymakers. Our nation’s leaders have a responsibility to address this crisis head-on, implementing policies and initiatives that protect women from violence. By taking decisive action, we not only safeguard the lives of women but also preserve our global standing as a nation committed to justice and equality.
Women in leadership positions hold a powerful voice in this fight against femicide. They can leverage their influence to advocate for change, mentor others, and actively participate in initiatives combating violence against women. By standing united, women in leadership can inspire a cultural shift that rejects violence and empowers women to live without fear.
This Valentine’s Day, let us redefine the meaning of love. Let it be a love that extends beyond romantic gestures and embraces the commitment to creating a society free from femicide. It’s time to choose love over violence, compassion over indifference, and unity over division. Together, we can make this Valentine’s Day a turning point in the fight against femicide, sending a powerful message that love should triumph over all forms of violence.
By Joanne Mwangi-Yelbert – Founder and CEO of PMS Group.