Taming the Tide of Gender-Based Violence and HIV&AIDS in Kenya: The TAMAR Approach
Yaye, Christopher Oyoo
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Violence against women (and girls) is a global problem occurring in every culture and social group. Normally, it is occasioned by power inequalities between women and men and the masculine culture found among almost all social groupings across the globe. In fact in many cultures across the world, men are encouraged to take risks and express their “manhood” often in ways that lead to violence and spread of HIV &AIDS. Such risks include having sex with multiple (and concurrent) partners, use of alcohol and drugs as well as display of dominant violent behaviours. Consequently, women and girls constitute an increasing proportion of the population living with HIV&AIDS and the rate of female infection continues to rise. The high rates of HIV infection in most communities in Kenya (and other parts of the world) today, can be attributed to social factors, tradition, deep rooted gender inequalities including violence of one form or the other–physical, psychological, sexual etc. In fact, there is a high correlation between sexual and other forms of violence against women and girls and their chances of HIV infection. While there is no doubt that even men experience violence (from women), it is men who pause a lot of danger to women and girls. If the tide of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is to be tamed, then it is imperative that the focus of attention needs also to be directed toward men as perpetrators.