Thousands march against femicide in Kenya

Several thousand people marched in Nairobi on Saturday to protest against femicide in Kenya where over a dozen women have been killed this month in cases that shocked the nation.

The campaigners took to the streets of the capital holding placards that read "Being a woman should not be a death sentence", "Patriarchy kills" while others featured names and photographs of the victims.

"Stop killing us," they chanted as they marched towards parliament, bringing traffic to a halt in Nairobi's central business district.

At least 16 women have been killed in Kenya this year, according to media reports, shining a spotlight on violence against women which the government has described as "rising".

In one of the cases that gained nationwide attention, a 26-year-old woman was killed on 4 January at a short-term rental apartment by a suspect who police say is part of an extortionist gang which targets women through dating sites.

Barely a fortnight later, a 20-year-old woman was strangled, dismembered and her remains stuffed into a plastic bag.

The gruesome killing triggered nationwide shock, including the chief government pathologist Johansen Oduor who said he had "never come across" such an incident over a two-decade forensic career.

Two men are in police custody over the case but are yet to be charged.

"Femicide is the most brutal manifestation of gender-based violence," Amnesty International's Kenya chapter said in a statement ahead of the march.

"Nobody cares. If you complain, you are bad," the 32-year-old told AFP.


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