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By:Anne Mugo Feb. 3, 2024

“ A Pierced  nose is a Malaya sign”.  A man says, followed by a significant number of men in support of this notion.

No hard feelings for malayas… Malisa, ua, chinja hao ghasia (laugh emoji, grinning emoji) …nose ring kwa pua ua Malaya (grinning emoji) … kudos Team Matara. Another man confidently types and he is applauded for it by his kind.

These are just a few of the distasteful comments on a post regarding a 20-year-old woman stabbed to death by her boyfriend in the Biafra slums of Nairobi. When a young medical students’ life was taken away by her boyfriend who axed her in broad daylight, a section of Kenyans took it to social media and made funny memes out of it, taking away the seriousness of the matter.


Because she was the perfect FEMICIDE victim…. In their eyes.

This is a tale of many women worldwide.  Femicide is a global issue affecting women across different cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds  and regions. It reflects and perpetuates gender inequality and discrimination, highlighting the need for comprehensive efforts to address the root causes, raise awareness and implement measures to prevent and combat violence against women.



According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Femicide is generally understood to involve the intentional murder of women because they are women. Broader definitions include any killings of women or girls. Femicide refers to the intentional killing of women, typically by men, based on their gender. It is a severe form of gender-based violence, often rooted in deep-seated social, cultural, political and economic inequalities between men and women. 

Femicide can manifest in various forms, including intimate partner violence, honor killings, dowry-related violence, and other forms of gender-motivated homicides. Femicide is the last and worst form of Sexual and Gender Based Violence.


In our culture, the perfect or ideal femicide victim is the older lady going about her day delivering milk as she usually does only for her deceased body to be found near a stream. This is the same for a 55 year old woman who went for church service only to be found killed and her breast cut off. I mean men are logical and rational so they must have done something to anger them. Wives are generally nagging in marriage and husbands just want peace.  Oh wait,  she stole from him. No, she cheated on the husband and finally ‘women muache umalaya and stick to your marriages, otherwise you will all die. In our culture, the perfect or ideal femicide victim is a young woman meeting a man for the first time, responding to an online text from a guy who showed interest in her and asked to meet for dinner. She’s murdered and butchered into pieces. 

“She deserves it, let them die, why is she stupid to meet with a stranger as seen in the comment section; I mean young girls should know there is no shortcut in life, stop eating men’s money as seen in one of the videos making rounds. 

“If I buy a woman pizza and she doesn’t give into what I want, I will murder,” “tunashafisha streets” they say, “whoring has to end this year” another one adds.

In our culture, the perfect or ideal victim is the stay-at-home mother/house wife who was murdered by her husband who is now missing because she is dependent on a man for everything, she should work and get something for herself. Oh, she was working. You know, successful and independent women intimidate men, they are selfish  and probably neglected her family 

“She should have been more submissive.”

In our culture, the perfect victim is a WOMAN.


While nothing on this planet can justify killing of another person, societal norms that stigmatize victims and perpetuate a culture of silence has prevented women from reporting abuse or seeking help. This silence has contributed to the perpetuation of violence without accountability. Even with this, weak legal frameworks, inadequate law enforcement, and a lack of effective legal remedies has contributed to a climate of impunity for perpetrators of femicide. In some cases, laws may exist but are not effectively implemented or enforced. Weaknesses in institutions, including the legal and judicial systems, social services, and law enforcement agencies, have contributed to the persistence of femicide. Insufficient response and support for victims has highly contributed to the problem.


We need to collectively enforce and strengthen laws that specifically address violence against women, including femicide, while improving the responsiveness of law enforcement and judicial systems to cases of gender-based violence. Establish and fund support services for victims of domestic violence, including shelters, counseling, and legal aid. Ensure that survivors have access to medical care and mental health services. Encourage community-based organizations to provide assistance and support. There is a need for educational programs that promote gender equality and challenge traditional gender norms and stereotypes to be included in the system. This will help raise awareness about the signs of domestic violence and femicide, encouraging individuals to speak out and seek help. Include discussions about healthy relationships and consent in school curricula through comprehensive sexuality education. This can also be extended to the community to foster awareness and engagement to create a culture that rejects violence against women and encourages community members to actively intervene and report instances of abuse or violence while promoting the involvement of men and boys in efforts to prevent violence against women.

There's also a need to support initiatives that empower women economically, reducing their vulnerability to abusive relationships while promoting equal opportunities for women in education, employment, and entrepreneurship. Advocate for responsible and non-stereotypical media portrayals of women, and also promote media campaigns that raise awareness about femicide and challenge harmful narratives. Improving data collection on femicide to better understand patterns, risk factors, and effective prevention strategies. This can be achieved by reporting and documenting all femicide cases regardless of diversity. Encourage international collaboration to address femicide as a global issue. Sharing best practices, research, and resources to develop effective strategies across borders.

We collectively have the power to ensure political commitment to addressing gender-based violence and femicide at the highest levels of government. Resources should be allocated to develop policies that prioritize the prevention of violence against women. Provide training for law enforcement, healthcare professionals, and other relevant personnel to effectively respond to cases of gender-based violence. Ensure that professionals understand the dynamics of abuse and are equipped to provide appropriate support. Stopping femicide requires coordinated efforts at various levels of society, involving government institutions, law enforcement, community organizations, and individuals. Many organizations and activists work tirelessly to raise awareness about femicide, advocate for women's rights, and push for legal and policy changes to protect women from violence. It's an important aspect of broader discussions on gender-based violence and women's rights.