Archives December 2020

Kuria Professionals urged to take up the role of Ending FGM in the Community

An Association of Professionals from Kuria Community today were challenged to step up and take up the role of Ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in their villages by 2022.

Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon. Rachel Shebesh led a Anti-FGM Multi-Agency committee in a meeting with the Kuria Professionals at Kehancha, Migori County this afternoon.

Hon. Shebesh told the professionals that they were respected members of the community and therefore, they had a duty to play in stopping the outlawed practice of FGM in their region.

“We look forward to hearing good news from the Kuria community in regards to building the economy and improving the livelihoods of the citizens. Today, we need to develop a clear road map and strategies on engaging other stakeholders in the end FGM campaign, ” said Hon. Shebesh.

The Chief Administrative Secretary urged the County Governments in the 22 FGM hotspot Counties to provide safe houses for girls in order to protect them from harmful cultural practices.

Anti FGM Board Chairperson, Agnes Pareiyo called on elders to make the right decisions.

“We are bringing elders on board because they are the heads of the family and they are the ones who can end FGM practice in the community,” she said.

Nominated MP, Hon. Dennitah Ghati said the Kuria Community would support H.E. President, Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to End FGM by 2022 fully and would ensure that he leaves behind a legacy of empowered women and girls.

“We are saying no to a harmful culture that violates the rights of women and girls because we shall continue to practice our culture without FGM.

On his part, Migori County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich said that the Government is not going to tolerate any blame game for the perpetrators of FGM as they will face the full force of the law.

“We are going to arrest the parents whose girls have been subjected to the cut. Every parent must be responsible for their children’s safety,” he said.

He challenged the men to declare an end to FGM in the Kuria Community. “We shall have no more FGM if men stand firm and denounce the practice,” he said.

The Association of Professionals includes teachers, health workers, administrators, lawyers, entrepreneurs, youth and students drawn from the Kuria community.

By Nelly Kosgey

Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Annual General Meeting

On Tuesday 15th December, 2020 , H.E. President, Uhuru Kenyatta issued a keynote address during a virtual Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Annual General Meeting and launch of the National Harvesting Water Project.

In his address, President Uhuru Kenyatta commended Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization (MYWO) for its frontline role in fighting for women’s rights in Kenya. He noted that organization has grown to become a bastion of civil society, championing initiatives that have tremendously changed women’s lives for the better, especially at the grassroots level.

“I believe the lives of women in Kenya and the communities they live in are, currently, immeasurably better thanks to the Maendeleo ya Wanawake’s bold and consistent actions over the decades,” the President said.

The project which is expected ensure that every household at the grassroots level in Kenya receives a 10,000 litres water tank to harvest rainwater that is safe and clean for domestic use, has today been launched in Kajiado, Homabay and Kakamega counties.

Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia thanked the President for the support he has provided women over the years.

“Your presence here this morning to engage with women leaders from 47 counties, is a testimony that your government cares,” she said.

Prof. Kobia said that Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization has actively participated in national development programs through National and County Government Gender Sector Working Group framework. The framework, she noted, enables the organisation to collaborate with other Government Agencies to create synergy for development as well as providing an effective model for improving quality of life for families and communities.

UNFPA Country Director, Dr. Ademola Olajide appreciated the role of Maendeleo ya Wanawake in women empowerment. He pledged to work with all organisations to reach out to the boy child in order to sensitise and educate on the role and importance of women in society from an early age.

Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Chairperson, Mrs. Rahab Muiu noted that within Nairobi city the Nairobi Metropolitan Services had reduced the cost of running a household by providing free water to informal settlements.

“Every household uses 80 liters of water daily which amounts to KES. 200/- but NMS is now providing the water for free,” she said.

Also present at the colourful occasion was Hon. Phoebe Asiyo, Patron, Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization. Hon. Asiyo recounted the humble beginnings of the organization and said she was thankful for the growth of the organization and the milestones that had been achieved.

Maendeleo ya Wanawake is a national membership Non-Governmental Organization established in 1952 to empower women socially, economically and politically to enable them deal with the unique challenges that face them in the society.

MYWO was first organized by the Department of Community Development and Rehabilitation within the colonial government. In 1958, the leadership of the organization was turned over to African women and Hon. Phoebe Asiyo was appointed as the first African woman to chair the organisation.

Today, MYWO boasts of a nation-wide network of over 4 million individual members and 25,000 affiliate groups.

A total of 764 women delegates were present at the virtual occasion today and accessed the live stream at State House from Kenya School of Government branches at Nairobi, Mombasa, Baringo and Embu.


By Jacqueline Kirimi

The Rapid Assessment of Gendered Effects of The COVID-19 Pandemic on Women and Girls in Kenya Report

On Monday 14th December, 2020, Principal Secretary, Prof. Collette Suda virtually launched a report on The Rapid Assessment of Gendered Effects of The COVID-19 Pandemic on Women and Girls in Kenya.

The report is a summary of a survey undertaken by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) and the State Department for Gender in order to inform policy and programme intervention to address its gendered COVID-19 impact.

Prof. Suda noted that one of the adverse consequences of this global pandemic is the wideningof existing gender inequalities which is threatening to reverse some of the gains made to build a more gender equal society.

“Understanding the gendered impact of diseases and pandemics such as COVID-19 is crucial for the design and implementation of gender sensitive interventions and responses,” she said.

The report, which was presented by KIPPRA Executive Director, Dr. Rose Ngugi, is designed to enable establishment of standards for the increased production of gender statistics and indicators to facilitate monitoring and evaluation of all interventions and aimed at strengthening the national capacity in addressing the pandemic. The findings will support national and county efforts to prevent and respond to both the outbreak and its economic, social, cultural and political impact and ensure accountability in programming while supporting measurement and progress of gender in the COVID-19 emergency response among other key outcomes.

The Principal Secretary said she was encouraged by the growing recognition on the part of state and non-state actors that integrating a gender perspective into risk analysis will contribute to a better understanding of the issues and uphold the ‘Leave No One Behind’ principle noting that there are enabling institutional architecture for gender statistics and analysis in place that are firmly anchored on regional and global gender and human rights frameworks which Kenya ascribes to.

UN Women Kenya Country Director, Ms. Anna Mutavati, stated that the findings in the assessment strengthen the urgent call for urgent and increased funding for GBV prevention and response programmes and increased social protection for the most vulnerable households. “Producing data during crises is the best way to inform relevant policy responses,” she said.

UNFPA Country Director, Dr. Ademola Olajide underscored the need to strengthen systems at county and national level to address GBV.
“Now more than ever, we must continue to strengthen national and county systems to address the physical and emotional consequences of Gender-Based Violence by offering psychological assistance, medical treatment and support to survivors in coping during the COVID-19 Crisis.”

Also present at the launch was MBS Commission Secretary, MS. Betty Nyabuto, UN Resident Coordinator Mr. Siddarth Chatterjee, CARE International Country Director, Phillipa Crossland-Taylor, Council of Governors CEO, Mrs. Jacqueline Mogeni and Oxfam Kenya Country Director, Dr. John Kitui.

By Jacqueline Kirimi

Cabinet Secretary Inspection tour at the NYS Gilgil Training College

Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia today carried out an inspection tour at the National Youth Service (NYS) Gilgil Training College where she assessed the level of compliance with COVID-19 containment measures during paramilitary training, inspected the ceremonial barrack guard and addressed the 7,700 new recruits who joined the service this year.

Prof. Kobia commended the NYS management team for the successful implementation of the robust training programme despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. She challenged the recruits to take advantage of the opportunity that has been provided by the government and exploit their full potential.

“The National Youth Service exists for the purpose of empowering young people like yourselves with knowledge, skills, experience and values that will enable you to exploit your potential, earn a decent livelihood and exercise your agency for the betterment of Kenya,” she said.

The paramilitary training is done to prepare the recruits for the highly competitive job market and equip them with the technical know-how to thrive in the job market. NYS plays a central role in accelerating the implementation of national development projects in collaboration with other public entities which provide NYS graduates with opportunities to proceed to National Service duty after the training.

NYS has recruited 5,506 maleS and 2,198 females in 2020. Among them, 45 recruits are Persons with Disabilities. This year, NYS reduced the number of recruits significantly due to COVID-19 pandemic safety standards requirements.

The Cabinet Secretary said that all the pending bills amounting to Ksh. 15 Billion which were owed between the year 2013 and 2017 which have now been verified and approved were ready to be paid. “I cannot say when the money will be paid but all Kenyans who supplied goods and services will be paid after we have made a request for funds from Treasury,” she said.

Prof Kobia said she was cognizant of the fact that some suppliers had taken loans to supply goods but noted that it was necessary for a rigorous process to be undertaken to verify all bills following NYS 1 and NYS 2 corruption scandals. 

On her part, Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon Rachel Shebesh emphasized on the need to give both men, women and girls equal opportunities in economic and social development. She said during COVID-19 pandemic, cases of Sexual Gender-Based Violence continued to rise and called on the society to take individual responsibility to end defilement cases. “Defilement cannot be a normal thing and dealing with GBV is no longer going to be business as usual,” she said.

Principal Secretary for Public Service, Mrs. Mary Kimonye emphasized on the need for the NYS training to strive for H. E President Uhuru Kenyatta’s expectations on governance. Mrs. Kimonye assured the recruits of their safety at the institution during their paramilitary training during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There has not been one COVID-19 case reported in this institution since reopening and this has been attributed to the high level of discipline and safety measures put in place at the institute,” she said.

Among those present at the event were NYS Council Chairperson Lt. Gen (Rtd) Njuki Mwaniki, NYS Director General, Ms. Matilda Sakwa and Commandant, NYS Gilgil Campus Ms. Ruth Mbuvi and other Ministry and NYS officials.

By Catherine Kamau