Voi is a town in the larger Taita-Taveta region and a transit town. Voi as a transit route (Nairobi-Mombasa) is exposed to issues like child prostitution where parents send out their children to sell themselves to the persons passing through on a daily basis who are mainly tourists. There has also been an issue of drug abuse, mainly alcohol and marijuana). These issues have been the main cause of Sexual Gender Based Violence in the area.
MEGEN held the first dialogue session in Voi on the 18th August 2011. The dialogue is meant to provide a forum where men and women can talk, ask questions on pertinent issues affecting them and get a genuine and honest answer. It also provides a forum where resolutions are made to change on the issues that are of concern to both genders. Issues raised were
Drug abuse mainly alcohol abuse
Extra marital affairs
Multiple sexual partners and many more
The second Strategic Dialogue Session was held on the 20th September 2011 and this session concentrated on ‘DOWRY’ since many men abuse their wives (batter, rape) and their justification is that they paid dowry. Women also may neglect their marital responsibilities or be unwilling to perform them because dowry hasn’t been paid for them. MEGEN sought to help the people of Voi scrutinize the ‘DOWRY” problem and ramifications of paying and not paying.
Both sessions were very lively and engaging. MEGEN goes back to Voi on the 25th October 2011 for the final Dialogue where the participants are expected to come up with tangible action plans that shall help curb SGBV.