Speaking on the measures his administration has taken to advance gender equality, Uhuru listed several interventions among them free maternity and immunization programmes in which the government has committed over 400 million USD.
He also mentioned the 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school target and the provision of sanitary towels to over 4 million girls in primary and secondary schools as well as the policy on the reservation of 30 per cent of all government procurement opportunities to women, youth and the disabled.
“I have deliberately undertaken initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, as set in our development blueprint, Vision 2030, ” the President said.
To drive the gender equality agenda, the President said his administration established a department which not only tracks and reports on the progress of interventions but also implements programmes that promote the wellbeing of women and girls.
He said Kenya’s efforts are informed by the Sustainable Development Goals and Africa’s Agenda 2063 which recognize gender inequality as a challenge that has resulted in women facing disproportionate incidences of poverty, illiteracy and disease across Africa.
President Kenyatta noted that war and conflict were among the critical challenges threatening the realisation of the gender agenda in Africa.
“Conflicts and crisis situations compound all the challenges that we seek to address to achieve gender equality. Of great concern is the growing “normalisation” of the targeting of women and girls for abuse during conflict,” the President said.
He thanked the G7 countries for committing 3.8 billion US Dollars to the education of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations in Africa as a response to the Nairobi Call for Action.
The Call for Action are resolutions of a consultative forum convened by President Kenyatta in Nairobi following the Charlevoix G7 meeting and brought together government representatives from 18 conflict and post-conflict countries to develop a common African position on the education of girls and women in conflict and post-conflict situations.
The President presented the Nairobi Call for Action which outlines eleven (11) actions that must be undertaken by governments and stakeholders to ensure the education of girls and women in conflict situations.
Among the action points is the generation of knowledge to guide interventions, conduct of advocacy for mainstreaming gender analysis throughout the conflict response cycle, equipping of teachers with skills and aptitude for offering psychosocial support, and recruitment and deployment of women mediators, to reinforce the gender approach in peace settlement processes.
Other proposals include adoption of community-based approaches to eradicate Gender Based Violence (GBV), promotion of unique educational interventions that address the needs of children with disabilities, and a Pan-African commitment to fully implement the African Union Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25) and the Gender Equality Strategy (GES).
Also on the list of actions is a call for the implementation of re-entry policies for teenage mothers and pregnant girls to continue with their education, the strengthening of Technical, Vocational and Education Training (TVET) institutions, and establishment of safe zones for school going children.
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