Covid-19: Govt assures protection of women, adolescents rights

The Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning Amb. Ukur Yatani has reiterated the government’s commitment to safeguarding the rights of school going children to avoid their dropping out of school.

He said the government would also not condone employment of young boys and girls who were still in school going age, and urged parents and communities to play their role in ensuring that no child drops out of school irrespective of their reasons.

“Let us endeavor in the education of our young people and equip them with the necessary training skills they require to enable them have a prosperous future,’ said Yatani.

The CS made the remarks Sunday in a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Administrative Secretary for Planning Eric Wafukho during the World Population Day Celebration held at Our Lady of Nazareth Primary School in Mukuru Kwa Njenga in Embakasi Sub County, Nairobi.

This year’s celebration theme is ‘Building Forward Better: Safeguarding women, adolescents and youth empowerment and rights in the Covid-19 era’.

Yatani also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to empowering women and girls through empowerment programmes, which he said were aimed at enabling them make wise decisions in matters that affect them which also have a greater effect on the well-being of their families.

He said the government’s commitment to promote women agendas has made Kenya sign various declarations and conventions, as well as put in place legislations that enable women and girls to thrive, singling out the Gender and Equality Act and the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation and  sexual Gender Based Violence (GBV) which protects their welfare and rights.

“We are going to safeguard them from Gender Based Violence which has increased during this time of Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, the Chief Administrative Secretary Public Service and Gender Linah  Kilimo said the government has uplifted the lives of women and would continue to do so through the Women Enterprise Fund, and urged women to come together and form groups to enable them access the funds.

“I call upon chiefs and assistant chiefs as they disseminate government functions to also encourage women and widows to go for the money. We are coming up with a fund to assist widows meet their economic needs,” said Kilimo.

She said it was disheartening that some people took advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to subject women delivering at home to female genital mutilation, noting that medics conducting the illegal practice should have their licenses revoked.

CAS Kilimo said the Ministry of Public Service and Gender is continuing with the mapping and shelters programme where affected women and girls could get support and urged members of the public to call numbers 1195 for tele counselling, 116 for violence against children and 999 to report cases of gender based violence.

In his remarks, the Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Rashid Athman said home delivery has increased high mortality rate and encouraged expectant mothers to deliver in health facilities.

He warned of stiff penalties on medical professional who would be found engaging in female genital mutilation practices, terming it a gateway to other harmful practices, noting that with such practices, the country would not achieve Vision 2030.

 “If such vices are not eliminated, girls and women will not be able to live into their full potential,” Dr. Athman said adding that women should be given a chance to make a decision on the number of children they would want to have.

The Chief Administrative Secretary Education Ms. Maimuna Bonaya said the Ministry of Education has mounted a home to home campaign to ensure that all school going children are enrolled in schools.

During the event, the State of the World Report and the Kenya State of the Population 2021 report were launched.

The event was also attended by the Chair of National Council for Population and Development David Ngugi and the United Nations Population Fund Country Representative Dr. Ademola Olajide among others.

  

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