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G20 holds crucial Civil Society meeting in Nairobi

Spouse of the Deputy President Pastor Dorcas Rigathi is among the invited guests

Civil societies from different parts of the world met in Nairobi on Thursday to share urgent thematic areas on gender equality during a meeting convened by the G20 under the C20 Gender Equality Working Group.

Spouse of the Deputy President Pastor Dorcas Rigathi was among the invited guests that included the Indian High Commissioner Namgya Khampa, European Union Ambassador to Kenya, Henriette Geiger and C20 International Coordinator Swami Shubamritananda Purdi.

Pastor Dorcas spoke on the need to leave no one behind, necessitating the need to carry everyone along and leave no gender behind.

“You cannot empower one gender, and have a balanced society; we must carry everyone along.

“We appreciate that engaging men and boys has been considered vital for achieving gender equality by the C20 Working Group. In Kenya, increased cases of drug and substance abuse, depression, suicide, and other mental health issues contribute to insecurity and negative economic outcomes with a heavy bias towards men and boys. In addition, we have observed that due to lack of positive engagement, boys are at a higher risk of being recruited into extremist groups and gangs,” she said.

Pastor Dorcas is a champion of the boy child and also seeks the empowerment of widows.

She said, “Widows do not have to be beggars, they can engage in different forms of agribusiness, entrepreneurship and income-generating activities to enhance their socio-economic status and improve their livelihoods”.

The civil societies shared thematic areas that would be presented during the next G20 meeting. The Chair of the C20 is from India, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi and was represented in the meeting by the C20 International Coordinator, Swami Shubamritananda Purdi.

The meeting included a panel discussion that was led by media personality, Jeff Koinange.

Indian High Commissioner Hon. Namgya Khampa said, “Our discussions will make a contribution to the G20 on the empowerment of women, and contribute to the richness of the discourse and push forward the agenda of women empowerment. The principal of gender equality and empowerment of women is enshrined in the constitution of India.”

EU Ambassador to Kenya, Henriette Geiger said, “It is crucial that civil society is working with G20 to bring the voices of all. The EU we are still struggling, and there is a huge pay gap between men and women. Voting rights could not be taken for granted a few decades ago. Overall, the EU is taking strong actions to ensure gender equality in its member states.”

She added that the European Union would support the inclusion of the African Union in the G20.

The same support has been voiced by US President Joe Biden, and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi among other leaders.

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