Perk Group Africa has embarked on a campaign to sensitize and engage the youth on sexual matters. We take the earliest opportunity to thank our campaign partners; Simama na Dada Initiative, Wegotothem, Kenya Girl Guides Association for the assistance accorded to the Sexual consent campaign thus far.
What is Sexual Consent?
Following the rampancy of sexual violence in our country, there has been a need to find a lasting solution to the problem. Informed by a master’s research by Maureen Nderitu on sexual harassment of Women in Small Business Enterprises. The participants in the study suggested a sexual consent campaign for boys from a young age.
True to this, the culture of having the sex talk with teenagers is not embraced in Kenya. In fact, most parents and teachers assume that introducing the talk to a young teenager is to inform them of sex and encourage the practice. But we miss out on the window of when best to instill good sexual practices in both girls and boys in our country.
The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it New King James Version.
Lets begin by reminding one and all of what a great responsibility raising children really is. Realizing this should drive us to making a greater effort. Responsibility is a word many like to avoid, but we simply can’t.
Islam teaches us responsibility. In the following Hadeeth the Messenger of Allah draws our attention to the great responsibility of bringing our children up correctly.
Ibn ‘Umar (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) reports that he heard the Messenger of Allah say: “All of you are (like) shepherds and all of you will be asked about their flock (i.e. are responsible for them). The Imam (leader) is the shepherd of his subjects, and he is responsible. A man is the shepherd for the people of his home, and he is responsible (will be asked about them). A woman is the shepherd of the home of her husband, and she is responsible. Each of you is (like) a shepherd and each is responsible for his flock.” (Bukhari & Muslim)
Then far be it for us not to respond to this calling.
While some countries like Angola and Philippines have their sexual consent age at 12 years old, and many countries in the world at 14, article 260 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 defines a child as an individual who has not attained the age of 18 years. Similarly, the Sexual Offences Act no 3 of 2006 gives the minimum age of consent for sex as 18 years.
There is a need to inform this to the younger generation, with this knowledge the issues of coercion, pressure, and forceful sexual acts will be distinguished as all illegal for our young boys and girls.
The campaign focuses on both boys and girls from the ages of 11 and above. It will be informing boys about the power and beauty of mutual sexual relations. To respect the choice and freedom that their partner has over the acts. The campaign will disregard the notion of entitlement that some boys may develop as instilled by our patriarchal systems. It will uphold and encourage communication between couples.
The campaign will also focus on instilling self-respect among our young girls and informing them about sexual harassment tendencies while they have rights against this, they should know where to report it. When to report and in extreme cases, like rape, there is a need to inform them on what immediate actions they should take.
The girls should also understand they have freedom over the decision to engage in sex and that they should not be coerced, pressured, or forced into it. They should also be informed of the importance of communicating with their partners and that if the partners respect them, they should wait for them to be ready to engage in sex.
Above all, they should know that sex without consent is RAPE.
The Campaign is in three phases;
The first phase of the campaign will focus on physical Consent and the rollout program will target Grade 6 to Class 8 pupils in Primary Schools, All secondary students, and tertiary institutions.
The key focus in this phase will be on the Primary and Secondary students. It will also target church youth groups especially when schools are closed.
Phase two will roll out during the December holidays where we will focus on the groups that will be doing the rites of passage seminars.
Phase three is projected in January and it will focus on tertiary institutions. This phase will cover physical and digital consent.