By Matilda Atieno
Kisumu county gender sector working group-Gender Based Violence Thematic Area committee convened a stakeholders’ forum to deliberate on emerging gender issues following the formation of the sub county GBV Thematic sector working groups in the seven sub-counties.
The meeting organized under the leadership of the State Department of Gender and KMET in partnership with the County directorate of gender and private partners was sponsored by Equality Now in an effort to accelerate the implementation of the gender equality commitments in eliminating GBV as the team’s common effort and achievement through a multi sectoral approach.
The forum brought together sub county sectorial committee chair persons and the co- chairs, Human Rights Defenders, the Security agency represented by the Kisumu Central Subcounty commander Mr. James Ng’etich and stakeholders from the non-state organizations.
The obligations of the Kisumu County Gender sector working group GBV Thematic Area committee is to take responsibility for responding to GBV issues across the county by dissecting on the emerging issues and existing gaps at the grassroot levels and through strengthening the referral pathway.
The chairperson of the County GBV Thematic Area committee and also the County Director state department for gender, Madam Ann Barasa was also hopeful that with the multi sectoral approach established up to the grassroots level, we will achieve a stronger prevention efforts, noting that multi-sectoral prevention is the new frontier that must be conquered.
Equality Now through their representative and the program officer Miss Penina Masore promised to walk together with the committee and other stakeholders to achieve their goals. Miss Masore called on the members to be bold and forward-looking in their deliberations towards ensuring successful outcomes.
The team committed to work closely with the security agency in order to realise justice for the survivors. It was also noted that there is need for a county safehouse to accommodate survivors of GBV in Kisumu.
Members were also challenged to streamline their activities in their respective jurisdiction as a way of avoiding duplication of services and to work closely with the security agents who are also active members of the the sector working groups to inform decision making to reduce high GBV challenges.