Following the increase in gender based violence against women in Kenya with many being stripped on Nairobi’s streets and estates due to what is being termed as indecent dressing, many women are looking for ways to protect themselves through personal protection due to lack of trust in the Kenyan police force.
Despite the staging of a protest rally in Nairobi’s CBD calling for the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of crimes against women through stripping, rape and bodily harm. The movement that started online through the hashtag #MyDressMyChoice, has not received the support it continues agitating for either from the government or law enforcement officers as continued cases of stripping continue being reported not just in Nairobi but in other parts of Kenya.
There are now some women who are actively seeking self defence and protection options with many searching online for Pepper Spray and Billy Clubs.
— Zosi (@Switcheeks) November 19, 2014
— jackson mwangi .i. (@jacksonmwangii) November 17, 2014
There is increasing demand for these items which, most Kenyans are not sure if they are are in the same category as firearms and require that one have a license to carry them under Kenyan Law. Despite many not sure where the law places items like Pepper Spray, an online eCommerce site Rupu and Pepper Spray Kenya has started selling the Pepper Spray online. There is also an increase in interest from women on self defence classes.
How does one get in touch with the Kilimani Mums? Been toying with the idea of setting up a free self defense workshop for ladies.
— Shamit Patel (@just_sham_it) November 24, 2014
These are measures that only those who can afford will be able to use to ensure that they do not become victims of street harassment or gender based violence and its quite sad that the safety of women is at their own hands.