Eastern athletes sensitised on gender based violence
Athletics Kenya (AK) executive member Elizabeth Keitany is confident that honest feedback from Kenyan athletes especially on gender issues will benefit and contribute to the growth of sports in the country.
Keitany says despite the fact that sports promotes ethical values of fair play, gender-based violence still occurs within the industry.
She added that separate sessions with the female athletes in the ongoing series of AK consultative fora have been enlightening while amplifying that the challenges faced cuts across.
“I think what is coming out clearly from the conversation is that there inadequate and inaccessible mechanisms and processes to report sexual violence in sport,” pointed out Keitany while emphasising that the sport has huge potential to drive social change and accelerate gender equality across sports not just athletics.
A teacher by profession, Keitany reminds that there is a broad way of addressing the matter because violence can be perpetrated among peer-athletes, between coaches and athletes, or between others in the sector.
“There is no particular way of looking at the topic. No kind of violence is acceptable, that is why we need to have this conversation now to curb the vice once and for all,” she added.
At the ends of the two week consultative program with athletics stakeholders, Keitany is hoping that by implementing targeted, evidence-based policies and programmes, sport can address its own violence as well as contribute to wider gender equality and empowerment in and through sport.
“We are talking to female athletes in detail because we know we also have many flaws, by doing so, we shall be able no have a society where everyone does their roles perfectly without affecting the other,” she added.
Keitany was speaking at Chuka University in Tharaka Nithi County on Wednesday where 100 athletes from Eastern region that encompasses; Meru, Embu Isiolo and the host Tharaka Nithi counties who turned up for the session.
The meeting was hosted by Eastern region chairman Answath Maragara.
Athletics head coach Julius Kirwa chaired a session with regional coaches, AK executive member Athletes Rep Milcah Chemos held separate session with the female athletes while the male athletes also had their talks led by program coordinator John Kimetto.
The fourth stop heads to Nyeri town in Nyeri County today.