Nairobi to hold consultative forum on women progress

By Judith Akolo

The Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs has embarked on a strategy to evaluate issues that impede women from progress.

The meeting slated for Tuesday next week and runs for two-day has attracted industry leaders in the private sector, ambassadors accredited to Kenya and government officials and seeks to raise awareness and develop a common strategy on the implementation of key gender priorities.

The meeting under the auspices of the Gender Sector Coordinating Group; a platform brings together government agencies, private sector, civil society organizations, development partners and higher institution of learning wants to chart out a holistic approach to gender parity in economic development.

The consultative meeting will also discuss how to deal with the runway gender based violence that has affected a large number of household and to find a way of implementing Affirmative Action.

“It brings together stakeholders in the gender equality and women’s empowerment space to discuss critical developments in the country including the implementation of key government gender policies, and agree on a framework for continuous engagement,” said Public Service Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki.

Among the participants will be, Women Parliamentarians, Women Veteran Leaders, Principal Secretaries from 20 Ministries, will discuss Gender Based Violence and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) which continues to affect women advancement in FGM endemic areas.

The forum will examine the Women Economic Empowerment initiative by the government addressed under Affirmative Action Funds for Women, Youth and Persons with disabilities and come up with strategies for dealing with weaknesses that have hindered women from utilizing the funds.

“The government policy is to ensure that 30% Public Procurement Preference and Reservations go to Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities,” said Kariuki, “The same applies to initiatives such as the Women Enterprise Fund, Youth Enterprise Fund, and UWEZO (empowerment) fund which designed to transform the lives of women, youth and persons with disabilities.”

The forum will look at measures the government is putting in place to ensure women’s equal access and equity to full participation in power structures and decision-making.

Through the Affirmative Action principle in the Bill of Rights, Chapter Four of the Constitution, women make 25% in parliament, up from 9.9% in 2007.

The meeting will also be attended by County Executives from all 47 Counties, Development Partners, UN Agencies, Prominent Media Personalities, Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) and The Private Sector.


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