2017 ended with women making their voices heard, and the movement is continuing in 2018. And one of the most glaring things is just how deep misogyny and sexism run within our society. Women are constantly in danger.
Last week, confessions of patients on social media surfaced about new mothers being raped at Nairobi’s Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). Women who have just given birth are raped and assaulted by men — with many pointing fingers at the male staff and mortuary attendants of the hospital.
In the Facebook group Buyer Beware, Mildred Atty Owiso complained about the happenings in the hospital, saying that new mothers were being raped and people were getting robbed in the elevators and on the queues.
The mothers, it appeared, were being targeted when they went to feed their newborn babies. One woman revealed that staff members threatened to kill her if she screamed for help. Kids who are in the hospital for treatment have also been victims. The Facebook account reports that at midnight, screams from patients can be heard throughout the hospital.
The hospital's genius solution: women should walk in packs to prevent getting raped. Women in Kenya are now marching in protest of the hospital's lack of security.
As of today, Kenya's health minister has ordered an investigation into the claims. The hospital has denied all allegations of rape, and its CEO said the women are lying because they didn’t report the incidents in the hospital's suggestion box.
Rape is already a stigma in itself. When someone is raped, it is so hard to talk about it because even when you report it, it’s like you are being raped again because you are reliving the experience. These women have suffered enough without also being painted as liars, even though they have absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose by coming forward. Our hearts are with them as they fight (again) to be heard.
Women are not safe anywhere. Women are being raped in hospitals after giving birth. Women are unable to visit and feed their newborn babies because they are raped, injuries burst the stitches in the vagina and causing untold complications.