Whenever a woman dies violently, the first question on people’s minds is, “What did she do?” “Did she provoke her attacker?” “Did she deserve death?” Nobody deserves death – not even a murderer and most definitely, not Ivy Wangeci and other women who’ve been victims of brutal assaults. That’s why the death penalty is deemed an inhumane act. And if people can have sympathy on some of the most dangerous people in society, why can’t they afford the same sympathy to an innocent woman?
The nation was recently shaken by the brutal death of Ivy Wangeci, a medical student at Eldoret. The circumstances around her death are even more disturbing as she was attacked and killed by a man she knew from childhood. There are several stories surrounding their relationship. However, the fact is that this man went all the way from Thika to Eldoret, bought an axe and a knife, lured Ivy Wangeci out of the hospital with the intention to kill the young girl. There’s no excuse for such a calculated act.
This sparked a countrywide outrage of a young, promising life ended too soon. Many held vigils in solidarity with the grieving family. On the other hand, some people still wanted to make it like it was her fault. One popular radio and TV personality went as far as to make a post about how women should stop accepting gifts from men they don’t intend on dating. Ivy Wangeci was also branded a “slay queen” despite being a 6th-year medicine student and having a stellar performance record in school. They claimed she led him on. So what if she did? That doesn’t warrant her death in such a manner.
It’s brutish to solve a problem by death when there are so many other better options available. Even our forefather had councils of elders who would deal with conflict. For someone to take another person’s life because of rejection is barbaric. And the manner Ivy Wangeci died will leave a painful mark on not just her family and friends but the whole nation.
This is just one out of many growing cases of femicide in Kenya. However, people still want to question the dead victim. Since the beginning of this year, 40 women have been murdered in the country and we’re only in April. These are 40 lives cut short due to gender-based violence. Some of these women were young with promising lives. That will no longer come to fruition due to a tragic death.
What happened to men being the protectors? We can blame it on toxic masculinity or sidelining the boy child. However, society has exposed the rot on how we’re quick to turn an accusing finger on the victim in femicide cases. Attacking the victim’s character won’t solve this growing problem. It wasn’t the fault of Ivy Wangeci that she was killed. It’s not the fault of any other woman who has been victims of gender-based violence. And with the victim gone, there’s only one side of the story.
I’m a content writer, bibliophile and travel enthusiast. I have worked in the digital space for over 5 years which has exposed me to a variety of lifestyle topics and peeked my interests in beauty, fashion, travel and wellness.