The Ministry of Public Service and Gender in collaboration with UN Women and the Government of Finland today held a high-level meeting in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
The virtual meeting which was attended by Cabinet Secretary for Public Service and Gender, Prof. Margaret Kobia, UN Women Country Representative, Ms. Anna Mutavati and Finland Ambassador to Kenya, H.E. Amb. Erik Lundberg, sought to assess the progress on the implementation of UNSCR 1325; highlight the role of women in peacebuilding and women leadership in conflict resolutions.
20 years ago, the UN Resolution affirmed the importance of the participation of women in peace negotiations, humanitarian planning, peace-keeping operations, and post-conflict peacebuilding and governance. The resolution recognized that conflicts affect women differently and addressing the needs, views and participation of women is a positive peace dividend.
However, despite all these resolutions and important gains that have been made since the adoption of UNSCR 1325, there still exists a major gap between the intended and expected results and the reality on the ground. There is an urgent need the world over for more concerted effort to facilitate women involvement in peacemaking, peacebuilding and peacekeeping to realize sustainable global peace.
In her address, Prof. Kobia noted that Kenya is making steady progress towards equal participation in peace and security matters and highlighted the recent appointment to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member. “Kenya will seize this window of opportunity to ensure women are at the core of peace and security agenda,” she said.
However, the Cabinet Secretary acknowledged that Kenya is still grappling with challenges and that the inclusion of more women in peacebuilding processes still remains an uphill task. She called on for more strengthened efforts towards inclusion and also the prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a reported increase in domestic and intimate partner violence. The national GBV helpline 1195 recorded a 33.7% increase by end of March and hit 50% by June.
UN Country Representative, Ms. Anna Mutavati recognized Kenya’s commitment to advancing the women, peace and security agenda and noted the adoption of the Ministry of Defence’s first Gender Policy which she said has contributed to an increase in women’s meaningful and effective participation in decision making. “I am pleased with the appointment of women in senior ranks such as the first female Major General in Kenya, Fatima Ahmed,” said the UN Representative.
The Finland Ambassador to Kenya, H.E. Erik Lundberg pledged the support of Finland in the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda and the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls. The Ministry of Public Service and Gender in collaboration with UN Women and the Government of Finland and the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government implemented the first Kenya National Action Plan on 1325 (KNAP I) in 2016 and recently launched KNAP II in May 2020. KNAP II reaffirms women’s right to participate in all aspects of peace and security in Kenya as a means of promoting sustainable, transformative, and prosperous peace and development in Kenya.
Also present at the event was Special Envoy, Women Peace and Security, African Union, Mme. Bineta Diop; Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon. Rachel Shebesh, Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Ababu Namwamba; Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, Amb. Hussein Dado, Governor Kericho County, Prof. Paul Chepkwony and Principal Secretary, Prof. Collette Suda among others.
By Maurice Goga and Jacqueline Kirimi