More than 80 percent of women using the public transport system or matatus have witnessed harassment in the form of verbal or emotional abuse in Nairobi.
A study conducted by UN Women, Kenyatta University and the Stockholm Environment Institute says that only 7 percent of the women report these incidents of harassment and abuse.
The study dubbed Women and Public Transport in Nairobi also states that very little or no action is taken against the perpetrators.
Speaking during the launch of the study, Maureen Gitonga Programme Specialist Gender Statistics at UN Women Kenya says that only 1 percent of the actions taken after incidents of harassment led to the perpetrators being apprehended.
“Only 1 percent of the actions taken after incidents of harassment led to the perpetrators being apprehended”, said Gitonga.
“Harassment, including sexual and emotional abuse while using public transport, may hinder women from accessing and fully exploiting economic opportunities and from providing or enjoying social services,” said Gitonga.
Professor Judy Waudo of KU-WEE Hub has called for legal and psychological support for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
“Women commuters should be supported to report these incidents and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in public transport provided with legal and psychosocial support”, said Waudo.
The Women and Public Transport in Nairobi Report is the culmination of efforts of UN Women, KU and SEI in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works, the National Transport and Road Safety Authority (NTSA), and the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (NaMATA).
The study is part of a series in East Africa. The findings of a related study for Kampala were launched in early December.
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