Chief Administrative Secretary Hon. Rachel Shebesh Called on the Youth to Maximize Government Opportunities for their Empowerment

Chief Administrative Secretary Hon. Rachel Shebesh Called on the Youth to Maximize Government Opportunities for their Empowerment

Wednesday, August 7th 2019

Youth in Arid and Semi-Arid areas (ASALs) have been challenged to exploit financial interventions put in place by the government to address their specific social- economic needs and to realize empowerment. 

Speaking during the launch of the National Youth Week activities on 7th August at Anchor in Samburu County, Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Hon. Rachel Shebesh cited the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO), which seeks to empower women, youth and persons with a disability by giving these groups 30% of all procurement initiatives without competition from established firms.

“Participation of young people in public procurement is key to create employment, wealth and enhance economic growth and I encourage the young people from Samburu County to compete with other stakeholders for their share of these procurement opportunities,” the CAS challenged the Youth. “In addition, the Government is currently engaging the private sector to extend the same in their own procurements,” she added. 

The CAS noted that already, under the Ministry of ICT Ajira Digital Project, the Government has provided 638,400 youth with continuous training and mentorship opportunities for the acquisition of skills to access digital jobs locally and internationally. 

Hon. Shebesh said in the current financial year the Government will refurbish 60 more YECs arguing that the plan is to have a fully operational Youth Empowerment Centers in every constituency. 

She affirmed that the Ministry is committed in promoting the inclusion of women and youth living with disabilities in social economic development through affirmative action programmes. 

“34 billion Kenya Shillings from UWEZO Fund, YEDF, WEF and NGAAF has been given out to 4.5 million beneficiaries across the country cumulatively since inception to support small businesses,” said the CAS. “Huduma Centers have promoted the ease of doing business by cutting down the bureaucracy and making government accessible under one roof at the grassroots,” she added.

On issues of Gender-Based Violence, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early marriages Hon. Shebesh said the victims need to be empowered to come out and not to continue suffering in silence since it has been criminalized with steepened penalties for the perpetrators.

She stated that the Government has also provided free sanitary towels for students in all public primary and secondary schools as well as all female students in special schools which has reduced school absenteeism and increased transition rate.

Kenya, the European Union (EU) and Spain to upscale fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV)

Kenya, the European Union (EU) and Spain to upscale fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV)

The European Union (EU) including Spain have pledged to continue partnering with Kenya through the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender to upscale the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV).

The Ambassadors of Spain and the EU in the country H.Es Javier Garcia de Viedma and Stefano-Antonio respectively, were speaking during the launch of Kenya-EU-Spain Learning Seminar on the Criminal Justice System on Gender Based Violence at a Nairobi hotel on Thursday.

The seminar which was presided over by the Chief Justice Hon. David Maraga and also addressed by the Cabinet Secretary Prof. Margaret Kobia, seeks to share experience and harmonize efforts at combating Gender Based Violence (GBV).

Justice Maraga elaborated reforms being put in place by the Judiciary to fast track gender based violence cases besides calling for public sensitization on the need to collaborate with Organs charged with combating the vice.

In her remarks, CS Prof Kobia appreciated the support of the Embassy of Spain in collaboration with European Union Delegation in Kenya stating, “It provides an opportunity for criminal justice system peers and anti-GBV Stakeholders from Kenya and Spain to share and cross-learn best practices in prevention, processing, prosecution and adjudication of GBV and human trafficking crimes.

Noting that fighting Gender Based Violence remains one of the pillars in promoting Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (SDG 5), Prof Kobia cited the Government interventions which include development of policies, capacity building, establishment of Gender Based Violence recovery/safe centres and a hot line. 

On her part, distinguished Spanish Judge Ms. Zita Harnandez shared her country’s experience in fighting the vice and elaborated measures being implemented include providing victims of abuse with six months’ unconditional unemployment benefit to give them a new start

She added that the State has pursued successive programmes to combat GBV cases including actualizing national policy, legal besides recognizing that violence against women was a public matter.

The two-day event brought together duty bearers in the Criminal Justice System from Kenya and Spain including the Judiciary, office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Police Service among others to establish strong bilateral networks and forge exchange programs amongst themselves in the fight against GBV and human trafficking.

Moderators of the Seminar were the State Department of Gender Principal Secretary Ms. Safina Kwekwe and Secretary Gender Faith Kasiva.

Others in attendance were Lady Justice Hannah Okwengu, Chairperson, Kenya Women Judges Association (KWJA) Dr. Ruth Kagia, Deputy Chief of Staff Policy and Strategy and senior government officials.

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