Kenya has handed over the position of Chairperson for the Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting (WAMM), a role it has held for the past five years.
Kenya officially passed the baton of the Chairperson position to Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe, the Minister of Social Services and Urban Development of the Government of the Bahamas during the 13th Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting in the Bahamas.
Public Service and Gender CS Aisha Jumwa, participated in the meeting virtually in line with President William Ruto’s directive to limit overseas travel for government officials in order to reduce costs. She congratulated her successor for being elected Chair of the 13th WAMM.
The CS highlighted Kenya’s tremendous strides in implementing the Commonwealth four gender priority areas, which include ending violence against women and girls, women’s economic empowerment and climate change.
Kenya has held the position of Chairperson since 2019 when the country hosted the 12th WAMM in Nairobi, a period that was later marred by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, CS Jumwa, in her address, noted that during Kenya’s Chairmanship the WAMM was able to develop strategies to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on women and girls.
“Under Kenya’s Chairmanship, the global arena was shaken the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic had threatened to deepen the pre-existing inequalities that perpetuate multiple and intersecting discriminatory practices. The Commonwealth Minister’s for Women Affairs held the first post-12WAMM, that established the Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Minister’s Action Group on 10 May 2021,” she stated.
She also expressed her gratitude to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Honorable Patricia Scotland and the Secretariat for their immense support and leadership during Kenya’s tenure as WAMM Chairperson.
The CS urged civil servants to adhere to the presidential directive aimed at reducing wastage by attending virtual meetings in the wake of technological advancements.