Kisumu County government in collaboration with gender partners has continued to make strides in developing policies on gender rights in recent years through the directorate of Women, Youth and PWD Affairs.
Gender Technical Working Group (GTWG) secretariat including representatives from national and county government, the civil society organizations and gender experts, this week gathered to champion and highlight gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) as a tool to gender mainstreaming, ending gender inequalities and ensuring that institutions respond to the needs of the most vulnerable.
The 3 days meeting organized through a partnership with the County government of Kisumu, Kenya Female Advisory Organization (KEFEADO) and SDG Kenya Forum, provided a platform to present and deliberate on how to achieve results in GRB and agree on future steps to share results of gender-responsive policies and budgeting initiatives in Kisumu County and elaborate on innovative approaches and activities foreseen in the upcoming projects.
Eva Komba of SDG Kenya Forum stated that Gender-responsive budget is key for enabling equal opportunities for women and men. To show commitment to achieving gender equality, institutions must make gender-responsive budgets. According to Madam Komba, ‘’County project to promote gender-responsive policies and budgets is very important for empowering women and for building an equal society in which finances are distributed more equitably.’’
To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5 (Gender Equality) with full support from the executive, the county assembly and gender partners, are set to jointly work on developing comprehensive gender-responsive budgeting that would strengthen the efficiency of the gender equality mechanisms in Kisumu.
Led by the County Directorate of Women, Youth and PWD Affairs, through Director Junior Omondi and Gender affairs officer Adah Omedi, the work towards gender mainstreaming in Kisumu has gained more influence following the enactment of the Disability Act of Kisumu County, the launch of Sexual gender-based policy and the gender mainstreaming policy underway. The County GTWG kicked off an initiative to promote Gender-Responsive Policies and budgets in Kisumu County. The initiative brought together members of the county assembly, County directors and the gender secretariat to form a county gender committee that is expected to champion and promote Gender-responsive budgets.
Why we need gender-responsive budgeting
Having been feted as a county aspiring towards global integration in the context of the Agenda for Sustainable Development, the County government has obligations to implement the international standards in line with the Sustainable Development Goals on gender equality. Incorporation of the gender-responsive budget in all county departments at all levels advances the commitment by the county government in realizing gender equality and women’s empowerment in line with national SDGs priority targets.
In line with Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o’s agenda on the inclusion of women youth and people living with Disability, the implementation of gender-responsive budget sits at the core of the County governments framework.
Efforts by the County government and gender stakeholders to fast track implementation of the gender mainstreaming policy and the legislation of programs on social transformation through holistic gender-responsive budgeting is a commitment towards the elimination of inequality.
By Matilda Atieno