Boda Boda (Motorcycle Taxis) operators can play a critical role in addressing social, cultural, and gender norms that propagate harmful practices such as sexual violence, child and forced marriages, and FGM. In addition, they are in a unique position to provide support to victims who have been affected by these practices through their day-to-day interactions with clients and knowledge of the community terrains.
Rape culture is a culture in which sexual violence is treated as the norm and victims are blamed for their own assaults.
“Sixteen Boda Boda riders have been arrested and five motorcycles impounded over the sexual assault of a female motorist along Nairobi’s Wangari Maathai road last Friday 4th, Kenyan police say”. This was the latest news of sexual assaults committed by Boda Boda riders in Kenya.
This news and many other reports of riders who rape clients made Mr. John, the chairman of Mwihoko Boda Boda rider, come to wounded Healers in Kenya requesting education on sexual violence for him and his association of more than 200 riders. He said that he would like his association to join the fight to break the culture and social norms that lead to sexual violence and know what he can do if any of his riders commit the crime.
Boda-Boda (motorcycle taxi) hosts millions of young people in Kenya. However, with very few women having the courage to venture into the industry, it remains a male-dominated sector.
Led by Program manager Josephine, Wounded Healers educated 60 riders about sexual violence, cultures, and social norms that fuel it and what they can do in case they come across a victim. Together with the upcoming Member of County Assembly and the Mwihoko riders association, Wounded Healers will support girls to access sexual and reproductive services, advocating against all forms of sexual violence and other harmful practices such as rape culture at the community level. In addition, wounded Healers will provide free mental health support to all riders whenever they need it to take their business forward.