Archives June 2022

Hon. Shebesh hosts Day of the African Child in Kajiado County

Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon. Rachel Shebesh has urged state and non-state actors to work expeditiously to eliminate harmful practices affecting children in Kenya.

Hon. Rachel Shebesh was speaking on 16th June when she presided over the celebration of the Day of the African Child at Elangata Wuas Primary School in Kajiado County.

The Day of the African Child brings together Governments, UN Agencies, International Organizations, NGOs, CSOs and other relevant stakeholders once a year to renew the ongoing engagements towards the protection and assistance of children affected by harmful practices.

The Chief Administrative Secretary highlighted the need to accelerate the elimination of harmful practices and called on the local Administrators to enhance their operations and arrest the perpetrators.
“We must assess where we are as far as protecting children from harmful practices such as Female Genital Mutilation and Child Marriage and it must start from the grassroots,” she said.

Every year on June 16th, governments and other stakeholders gather in memory of the 1976 massacre of children in Soweto to reflect on the status of the rights and welfare of children in Africa.

First celebrated in Kenya in 1991, this day provides an opportunity to take stock of the gains that have been made to safeguard the rights and welfare of children and identify gaps.

Also present at the event were representatives from Africa Union, UNICEF Kenya and National and County Government officials.

Prof. Kobia hosts AGA Award dinner event

Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia hosted a dinner event on Tuesday night in honour of H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta who received the Africa Gender Award 2022.

His Excellency received the award from the Gender is my Agenda Campaign Network (GIMAC) at an event ceremony held at State House, Nairobi.

GIMAC also awarded the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) in the private sector category and the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) in the civil society category respectively for their role in the promotion of gender equality and women empowerment in Kenya.

In her keynote remarks, Prof. Kobia lauded President Uhuru’s continental recognition as well as KEPSA and CREAW for putting Kenya on the map yet again.

“We are proud as a nation, we are proud as women of Kenya, these awards are as a result of the tremendous effort, collaboration and partnership we have in addressing gender equality and women empowerment,” said Prof. Kobia.

Ms Betina Diop, the African Union special envoy on Women Peace and Security congratulated President Uhuru Kenyatta, KEPSA and CREAW for receiving the prestigious award.

“You have done a wonderful job, you have touched and impacted the lives of women, girls and boys, you deserve this honour and we are proud of you,” said Ms. Diop.

Oh her part, State department for Gender, Principal Secretary Prof Collete Suda underscored the fact that team work between various players in the gender sector is the reason Kenya managed to scoop the awards.

“This is the best time for a woman in Kenya because everything is happening now, this occasion marks the beginning of greater things for the women, Prof. Suda said.

Under His Excellency’s leadership, Kenya achieved eleven out of twelve operative articles of the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA). The award is based on three thematic indices namely HIV Index, Education Index and Gender Parity Index.

The African Gender Forum is a gender platform for the women of Africa to forge their own strategic path regarding relevant actors and partners whilst the African Gender award serves as a mechanism to monitor and reward an African Head of State or Government who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in promoting gender equality and development within the thematic areas of the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa.

The Award is based on country performance measured by the scientifically developed Solemn Declaration Index, SDI and the SDI score card. The SDI) was initiated by GIMAC (Gender is My Agenda Campaign) with the leadership of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and African Union Commission (AUC).

In the past the Award, recognized every 2 years, an African Head of State or Government for showing an outstanding contribution to Gender Parity. The African Gender Forum & Award is accompanied by two other in-country recognitions: to a member of the Private sector that promotes gender equality in the economic spheres; and to a women’s organization among the civil society for its commitment to mainstreaming the gender agenda.

State Department for Gender co-hosts a GBV Scientific Conference with State Department for Health

In partnership with the Ministry of Health, we are co-hosting a Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response Scientific Conference at the Kenya School of Government in Nairobi. The objective of the conference which will run from 8th to 10th June is to strengthen multi-sectoral prevention and response against Gender-Based Violence in Kenya.

Principal Secretary for State Department for Gender, Prof. Collette Suda who attended the opening ceremony yesterday, noted that the conference was timely as Kenya marks the first anniversary since H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta made twelve commitments and launched a road map on advancing gender equality and the elimination of all forms of Gender-Based Violence and Female Genital Mutilation by 2026 in Kenya.

“In June 2021, Kenya participated in the Generation Equality Forum in Paris where H.E. President made 12 commitments that focus on strengthening accountability on enforcement and implementation of GBV laws and policies, increased financing and budgetary allocation for GBV programming, enhancing service delivery for survivors and strengthening utilisation of data among others,” she said.

Prof. Suda described the conference yesterday as an opportunity to commemorate the first anniversary and demonstrate the milestones achieved in translating the 12 commitments into action. Among the key achievements that she highlighted include the submission of GBV sub-indicators on implementation of laws for inclusion in the Performance Contracts of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the financial year 2022/2023, the investment in GBV and FGM programming through financial and technical support from development partners and the establishment of a three-tier leadership structure which comprises the National Advisory Committee, the National Steering Committee and a Secretariat.

The scientific conference will explore the progress made and lessons learned over the COVID -19 pandemic period in closing GBV prevention and response gaps. It will provide an opportunity to showcase successes, to learn and create momentum for GBV prevention and response beyond mitigation.

The forum will document shared challenges and strengthen partnerships for a robust response, especially during humanitarian and conflict situations. It is expected that through the forum there will be enhanced preparedness for GBV prevention and response in Kenya during adversity including the upcoming electioneering period.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is a first responder in mitigating the health-related effects of GBV while working within a multi-sectoral response. MOH is core in facilitating efficient referral pathways by maintaining linkages with other sectors. It also plays a critical role in changing community norms and attitudes through information, education and communication. MOH is also a credible source of data and information for policymaking and accountability.

Ministry launches National Care Reform Strategy for Children in Kenya and the Assessment of the National Response to Child Online Sexual Exploitation in Kenya

The Ministry of Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes launched the National Care Reform Strategy for Children in Kenya and the Assessment of the National Response to Child Online Sexual Exploitation in Kenya on 8th June 2022.

Most. Rev. Dr. Jackson Ole Sapit, The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya who presided over the event at KICC Nairobi recognised the role of faith-based organisations which he said are central to the reform of childcare services, policy and framework. He highlighted in particular the need for collaborative action on child online sexual exploitation and abuse.

The Archbishop announced that a children and teen centre had been established recently at All Saints Cathedral to teach children skills needed in navigating the online space and urged the stakeholders to support the Church’s efforts.

“The cyberspace is becoming increasingly complex hence why we saw the need to ensure that we protect children by empowering them with skills to ensure their safety as they are most vulnerable,” said Dr. Sapit.

Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia who also attended the event noted that there are an estimated 45,000 children living in over 845 institutions run by charity and a further 1200 children living in 28 government-run institutions including rehabilitation, remand and rescue centres in Kenya who are not receiving acceptable standards of care.

“There is overwhelming evidence that children under institutional care suffer severe developmental setbacks as opposed to the ones in the family and community-based care,” she said.

To fully align with globally accepted standards of care, the Cabinet Secretary said that the Government in collaboration with Development Partners adopted a unified and holistic approach towards reforming the childcare system by developing the National Care Reform Strategy for Children in Kenya.

The two publications launched today have been developed in partnership with UNICEF Kenya, USAID Kenya, the Embassy of Sweden, and World Vision among other development partners. The research findings will provide an action plan to protect children from harmful online content and sexual exploitation while the National Care Reform Strategy for Children in Kenya is expected to reform the childcare system.

Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia presides over the official commissioning of various projects in Dadaab, Garissa County

On 20th May, Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia presided over the official commissioning of various projects in Dadaab, Garissa County under the Kenya Development Response to Displacement Impacts Project (KDRDIP) – a regional initiative in the Horn of Africa being implemented in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Somalia.

KDRDIP is a five-year project that aims at providing priority support to host communities around Dadaab and Kakuma Refugee Camps within the Counties of Garissa, Wajir and Turkana the communities that have hosted refugees for over 30 years.

The projects commissioned today included:

i. The renovated and well equipped theatre at Dadaab Subcounty hospital.
ii. Newly constructed Dormitory and community library at Dadaab Secondary School.
In her keynote remarks, Prof. Kobia noted the Community Driven Development (CDD) approach as the driving success factor which had presented to us opportunities and best practices in community development and governance.

“This project has shown that communities have the abilities to identify own development needs, monitor and supervise implementation of own sub-projects, supervise and participate fully in the decision making on their development initiatives,” she said.

Prof. Kobia recognised the role of KDRDIP and noted that the project had demonstrated that it is easy to take into account the interests of women, youth and marginalized groups in decision making and project implementation.

The Cabinet Secretary also issued cheques worth Ksh. 425 Million from KDRDIP to benefit 850 community groups and Ksh. 1.3 Million from Women Enterprise Fund to various women groups respectively.

Dr. Anne Kinyua, the project’s National Coordinator said that the Project is positively impacting the lives of the communities in Arid and Semi-Arid regions and called on stakeholder to continue working together for the betterment of the lives of the vulnerable.

The Cabinet Secretary was accompanied by State Department for ASALs Principal Secretary, Mr. Micah Powon, Boaz Cherotich, Garissa County Commissioner, Hon. Dr. Mohammed Dahir MP Dadaab, Mr. Abdikarim Mohammed, Mr. Hared Hassan Lt. Col (Rtd).