국제앰네스티는 케냐 나이로비(Nairobi) 빈민촌에 살고 있는 여성들이 성폭행의 위협 등으로 집에서 나가 는 것을 두려워하고 있으며 이로 인해 공공 화장실 등마저 이용하지 못하고 있다고 말했다.
새로 발간된 보고서 ‘안보와 존엄성 부정: 케냐 나이로비 빈민촌 여성들의 경험(Insecurity and Indignity: Women’s experiences in the slums of Nairobi)’은 케냐 정부가 빈민촌을 도시 계획 및 예산에 통합하는 것에 실패한 것이 어떻게 위 생시설에 대한 접근성을 악화시켰고, 빈민촌 및 임시 거주지에서 사는 여성들에게 심각한 피해를 줬는지를 담고 있다.
국제앰네스티 고드프리 오동고(Godfrey Odongo) 동아프리카 조사관은 “나이로비 지역의 여성들은 밤이 되거나 어두워지기 한참 전이라도 집에 마치 수감자처럼 갖혀있다”며 “그들이 화장실이나 욕조를 이용할 때에는 남성보다 더 많은 프라이버시가 요구되지만, 이러한 위생시설을 이용하지 못하는 여성들은 강간의 위협에 노출돼 집에서 나오기를 두려워하 게 된다”고 말했다.
이어서 오동고 조사관은 “또 이러한 이유로 인한 공공 화장실 이용의 제한은 그들의 건강에도 심각한 악영향을 준다”고 말했다.
이러한 상황은 빈민촌의 여성들이 폭행을 당할 경우 이를 규제할 경찰의 부재로 인해 더욱 악화되고 있다. 나이로비의 최대 빈민촌인 키베라(Kibera)는 10만 명 이상이 모여있으나, 경찰서가 단 하나도 설치되어 있지 않다.
케냐 정부는 보안, 조명 및 단속을 즉시 강화해야 하며, 관련 정부 당국은 빈민촌 지역의 식수 및 위생시설을 개선하는 데 집중적 인 노력을 해야 한다.
Fear of attack leaves Kenyan women prisoners in their homes
7 July 2010
Women and girls in Nairobi’s slums live under the constant threat of sexual violence, leaving them often too scared to leave their houses to use communal toilet and bathroom facilities, Amnesty International said in a report released on Wednesday.
Insecurity and Indignity: Women’s experiences in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya details how the failure of the government to incorporate the slums in urban plans and budgets has resulted in poor access to services like sanitation, which hits women in slums and informal settlements especially hard.
“Women in Nairobi’s settlements become prisoners in their own homes at night and some times well before it is dark,” said Godfrey Odongo, Amnesty Internationals East Africa researcher. “They need more privacy than men when going to the toilet or taking a bath and the inaccessibility of facilities make women vulnerable to rape, leaving them trapped in their own homes.
“The fact that they are unable to access even the limited communal toilet facilities also puts them at risk of illness.”
The situation is compounded by the lack of police presence in the slums and when women fall victim to violence they are unlikely to see justice done. Kibera, Nairobi’s largest slum and home to up to a million people, has no police post.
“I always underestimated the threat of violence,” said 19-year-old Amina of Mathare slum. “I would go to the latrine any time provided it was not too late. This was until about two months ago when I almost became a victim of rape.”
Amina was set upon by a group of four men while she walked to the latrine at 7pm. They hit her, undressed her and were about to rape her when her cries were heard and a group of residents came to save her. Although she knew one of the men involved in the assault, Amina did not go to the police as she feared reprisal attacks.
Unable to leave their one-roomed houses after dark, many women in informal settlements resort to ‘flying toilets’ – using plastic bags thrown from the home to dispose of waste.
Women also told Amnesty International how the poor sanitary conditions they live in – which include widespread disposal of human excreta in the open because of lack of adequate access to toilets – directly contribute to cases of poor health and to high health care costs.
Other women describe the humiliation of bathing in front of their relatives and children.
Even by day, public bathroom facilities are few and far between and invariably involve walking long distances. According to official figures, only 24 per cent of residents in Nairobi’s informal settlements have access to toilet facilities at household level.
Despite some positive features, Kenya’s Millennium Development Goal (MDG) policies to meet the target on sanitation do not address the specific needs of women who face the threat of violence because they lack adequate sanitation.
They also do not address the lack of enforcement of regulations requiring owners and landlords to provide sanitation.
“There is a huge gap between what the government commits to do, and what is going on in the slums everyday” said Godfrey Odongo.
“Kenya’s national policies recognise the rights to sanitation and there are laws and standards in place. However, because of decades of failure to recognize slums and informal settlements, planning laws and regulations are not enforced in these areas.
“The lack of enforcement of these laws has ensured that landlords and structure owners in the slums can get away without providing any toilets or shower places for their tenants”
Lack of security of tenure also remains a long standing problem for tenants, despite a national land policy in place, removing any incentives that landlords or owners could have to ensure proper sanitation, and measures to increase security.
Amnesty International calls on the Kenyan government to enforce landlords’ obligations to construct toilets and bathrooms in the slums and settlements and provide assistance to structure owners who are unable to meet the costs of constructing toilets and bathrooms.
The government must also take immediate measures to improve security, lighting and policing and ensure that relevant government authorities coordinate their efforts to improve the water and sanitation situation in the settlements.