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Kenya is home to some of the world’s best athletes, who hold numerous world records, and are firmly recognized as top performers in global athletic events. The athletes' community has however been grappling with the issue of gender-based violence in the sport. Most recently, double world championship medalist Agnes Tirop and international champion Damaris Muthee both died in cases of intimate partner violence that turned fatal. 

UNFPA staff were joined by members of the UNFPA youth advisory panel at the
Nairobi City Marathon run against GBV.

On 8th May 2022, UNFPA Kenya staff joined more than 5,000 running enthusiast for the inaugural Nairobi City Marathon that took place along the newly constructed Nairobi expressway. The UNFPA team led by Country Representative Anders Thomsen took the opportunity to spread awareness on the need to end gender-based violence in sports and in society. The team opted to run in white t-shirts bearing the slogan “End-Gender Based Violence Now,” which stood out in a sea of uniform red t-shirts worn by other marathon participants. 

UNFPA Kenya representative Anders Thomsen and UN
Resident Coordinator in Kenya Stephen Jackson at the
​​​​​Nairobi City Marathon.

The UNFPA team was joined by the UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya Stephen Jackson who ran alongside the UNFPA representative in the 10 kilometer race category. “Gender-based violence is the most pervasive and yet least visible human rights violation, because it is often shrouded in secrecy,” said UNFPA Representative Anders Thomsen. “Our call today, is for all actors to join hands in eliminating gender-based violence in our societies.”  

8th May is also Mothers’ Day, and staff members were joined by family and friends in honoring all mothers, women and girls who have been affected by gender-based violence. The team participated in the 21KM half marathon, 10KM race and 5KM fun run.