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Government commits to advance gender sector priority areas

National Care Policy has been finalised and is awaiting approval

Gender Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa

The National Gender Sector Working Group (NGSWG) held its second bi-annual meeting Friday to offer joint sector consultations and coordination mechanisms between the two levels of government and other key stakeholders.

Speaking during the meeting, Gender Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa called for a concerted effort in the promotion of technical and financial support for gender priorities in Kenya.

“The government has continued making positive strides in living up to its commitments towards gender equality and empowerment of women. Let us all take stock of our collective progress, share the challenges alongside opportunities that we are presented with as we chart the way forward in the great journey of gender equality and women empowerment,” said CS Jumwa.

The meeting was also an opportunity to share experiences in the implementation of gender priority areas and highlight key achievements, gaps and opportunities in the gender sector

CS Jumwa highlighted successes witnessed in the gender sector noting President Ruto’s recent appointment of Major General Fatuma Gaiti Ahmed as the first female service commander and head of the Kenya Air Force in history. These, she said, are signs of progress in inclusion of women in leadership and decision-making.

Strides in Gender Sector

The CS highlighted some wins celebrated in the Gender sector which include the National Care Policy that has been finalized and is awaiting approval by the Cabinet.

Once in force, the policy will guide the government on the valuation and remuneration of unpaid care work, particularly among the marginalized communities, thereby impacting on poverty reduction efforts.

Another key success mentioned by CS Jumwa was the Ministry’s stride towards addressing Gender Based Violence is the launch of the Protection Against Domestic Violence (PADV) Rules which are being implemented and the distribution of sanitary towels to school going girls in public primary and secondary schools in the country.

The distribution of Sanitary Towels is in a bid to keep girls in school, cushion them from sex predators, and contribute to their menstrual hygiene.

The Ministry has spent  Ksh876M distributing sanitary towels nationally to over  2 million girls receiving 8 packets of sanitary towels each.

In recognition of the effects of climate change on gender, the CS proposed for the formation of a 6th thematic area of Gender and Climate change to the National Gender Sector Working Group.

The meeting also saw a change of guard with the Finnish Government through Ambassador Pirkka Tapiola taking over the Co-chair position of the NGSWG, from the USAID Kenya which was under Mission Director, David Gosney.

The CS thanked all the partners among them UN Women, UNFPA Kenya, Council of Governors, the Government of Finland and others and called for the establishment and strengthening of linkages among gender sector partners urging all partners to be steadfast and persistent in advocating for the common agenda, that is gender equality and women empowerment.

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