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Kenyan government to crackdown on short-term rental properties amid rise in femicide

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Kenyan government to crackdown on short-term rental properties amid rise in femicide

Photo: BBC

The Kenyan government will today begin cracking down on unregistered short-term accommodation companies, including Airbnb.

The government announced that all operators of Airbnbs must register with the Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) in response to demands for improved security measures for individuals renting properties. The move comes following a recent surge in femicidal killings.

Twenty-one women were killed in January alone. The recent killings of Rita Waeni, 20, and Scarlet Wahu Mwangi, 24, in Airbnbs sparked nationwide protests. Over 10,000 protesters in Nairobi, frustrated by cultural, traditional and religious barriers that reinforced impunity demanded accountability and justice for victims. Between 2016 and 2023, over 500 women were killed with many more going unreported, according to Amnesty International Kenya.

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The government crackdown on short-term rental properties will play an important role in tracking down perpetrators of gender-based violence. Kenya, however, currently faces a shortage of about 100 judges, as well as limited numbers of magistrates and adjudicators which will severely inhibit the country’s ability to prosecute femicide cases. New measures, including a special unit to speed up investigations of femicide cases, appears to be a step in the right direction, however citizens have expressed concern that the attitudes within police forces must change for femicides to be stopped.

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