Kisumu County marked the International Women’s Day (IWD) 2020, as women come together at a time hallmarked to honor their achievements in the political, economic, and cultural sphere in an event organized in partnership with various organizations advocating for gender equality at the Jomo Kenyatta sports ground.
The event graced by Mama Kisumu Dorothy Nyong’o, in the company of Kisumu Governor Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, this year’s IWD celebrations themed, “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights,” is aligned with UN Women’s new multigenerational campaign, Generation Equality, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China.
“We must never tire of different advocacy programs to end all kinds of discrimination, violence and harmful practices against women.” Said Mama Kisumu, acknowledging that the Sexual Gender-Based Violence Policy (SGBV) and The Gender Mainstreaming Policy Formulation as a commitment towards the empowerment of women, youth and people living with disabilities.
Mama Kisumu also recognized that Kisumu was the second county nationally to unveil a comprehensive policy framework designed to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence and the local level.
In his remarks, Kisumu governor commended the women of Kisumu led by Mama Kisumu for the great strides that have been achieved.
“We have come a long way to ensure that women have the same access to life’s basic needs as men.” Said Governor Nyong’o.
The Governor also announced that on the 27th of March Kisumu County will receive the biggest prize as the best County in involving women and special interest groups in development issues.
The National Taxpayers association called on the government to make taxes work for women and to ensure gender-responsive budgeting, recognizing that Tax justice is vital to providing gender-responsive public services.
March 8th marks the global annual IWD celebrations; however, Kisumu scheduled its celebrations for the 12th March 2020. The day also serves as a reminder that women around the world still have a long way to go when it comes to obtaining the same opportunities and liberties as their male counterparts.
The colorful event was occasioned by a procession from Kondele, Awarding of recognition certificates to various stakeholders and entertainment from various groups as women, men and special interest groups danced their heart out in celebration to mark the achievements made in realizing gender equality in Kisumu and Kenya at large.
The celebrations focused on five key thematic areas of discussions which included; Enhanced Equality and Non- discrimination, Protection of women from violence, Promoting Rights relating to marriage, Improved Health and Reproductive Rights and Championing Right to peace, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The event was also graced by the County Ministers, Dr. John Obiero Ogone of Education ICT and Human capacity development and his counterpart for health and Sanitation, Prof. Juddy Attyang’, members of the County Assembly led by the gender committee chairperson, Hon. Rashid Miruka, Representative of the County Commissioner, Chief officer Women, Youth and social services Mr. Haggai Kadiri, county officials together with the members of the Gender technical working group stakeholders.
The county department of Women, Youth, People with Disability (PWD) & Social Services and its partners organized a county gender technical working group workshop to validate the Kisumu county gender mainstreaming policy framework in Bondo, Siaya County.
The two-day workshop which was organized in partnership the gender mainstreaming technical working group, gender experts, civil society members and the Sustainable Development Goals forum (SDG Forum) was graced by the chief officer for Women, Youth, People with Disability (PWD) & Social Services, Mr. Haggai Kadiri.
The chief officer emphasized the County Government’s commitment towards the policy formulation adding that the goal of the policy for gender mainstreaming is to address the existing barriers that may hinder equal participation of women, men and special interest groups in expanding access to opportunities.
According to Mr. Kadiri, the policy is set to mainstream gender in the County government programs, projects and initiatives implemented by the states, including large scale infrastructure projects and investments.
The policy is a flagship program for the department with the overall objective to contribute towards increased access to modern, affordable, and reliable services, security and environmental sustainability by tailoring national and regional policies, projects and programs to the gender needs of women and special interest groups.
The representative of the SDG Forum, Ms. Rosemary Oluoch also commended Kisumu County for the efforts towards achieving the gender mainstreaming policy adding that SDG Forum is ready to support the initiative at any given time.
The envisaged output from the workshop include; Validation and endorsed draft of the Kisumu County gender mainstreaming policy framework and a preliminary draft of the Implementation Strategy for the Policy for Gender Mainstreaming in accessing services.
By Matilda Atieno
The policy on Sexual and Gender-based violence was recently unveiled at Acacia hotel.
It is expected to fast track the reduction of gender abuse cases which has escalated in the county.
In partnership with KMET and Equality, the County government of Kisumu becomes the second in Kenya to unveil a comprehensive policy framework designed to eliminate sexual and gender -based violence (SGBV) at local level.
Kisumu County speaker, Hon. Elisha Jack Oraro said that the day marked the end of a journey that started long ago and that Kisumu County will be working towards a direction that is known to implement on this policy that has just been unveiled.
“Gender is wide therefore GBV is not only on women alone but also men and with this policy it will be possible to identify such cases. The policy is a step towards ensuring that Kisumu County advocates for zero tolerance to sexual and gender based violence”. He said.
The policy calls for the prioritization of SGBV responsive interventions including the allocation of sufficient financial and human resources geared towards supporting activities that will redress the violations.
County directorate of Youths in partnership with Kisumu Youth Olympic Center and the State Department of Youth Affairs, yesterday organized a youth discussion forum with the Members of the County Assembly at the yesterday Whirl spring Hotel in Kisumu.
The forum brought on board 35 youth representatives across all sub counties to form a lobbying platform for policy and legislation framework on youth related issues. It is also anticipated to enhance public participation processes and to promote youth related development.
The youths used the platform to outline some of the policy related challenges that hinder their development prowess which included the thirty percent tender allocation, project management committee and control of grass root development funds, consideration of youths during employment, lack of support for Youth Civic Education and recognizing the forum by the County Assembly as voice of the youths among others.
The Members of the County Assembly, while speaking to the youths called on them to be aggressive in making proposals whose framework can be legislated by the County Assembly. They were also urged to attend public participation in order to prioritize projects that are youth friendly and that they should not always shy away from making applications whenever the Public Service Board places advertisements for vacant positions.
The facilitators for the forum included: County Director for youths, Mr. George Orude, Mr Paul Okaka the convener, Coordinator Kisumu Youth Olympic Center, Mr James Waore Diang’a and the in Charge of State Department of Youth Affairs, Mr Kaluoch
The County directorate of gender together with its stakeholders held the first public participation towards engaging Kisumu residents to have meaningful input into the Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)draft policy framework.
The public participation held at YWCA in Kisumu central brought together stakeholders and partners in gender issues to deliberate on the Kisumu County draft SGBV policy framework and provide an opportunity for communication between county government, gender partners and the public.
This follows a series of discussions and workshops between partners in gender issues to deliberate on the draft. According to the gender directorates, state department headed by Mr. Joel Okumu and County government, led by Adah Omedi, the Kisumu County SGBV framework policy will give effect to the various principles that prohibit SGBV, promote the rights to freedom and security as well as empower women by transforming them from survivors of gender-based violence into key drivers of the county’s structural transformation.
The policy formulation process was spearheaded by the County directorate of gender, County state department of gender together with members of the civil society and private partners in gender issues.
By Matilda Atieno
To celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child, the county government in partnership with Plan International and Nyanza Initiative for Girls’ Education & Empowerment (NIGEE) organized celebrations at Kombewa in an event that brought together girls from Kisumu county.
This year’s Day of the Girl Child themed “GirlForce: Unscripted and unstoppable” marks the annual celebrations as commissioned by the United Nation. October 10th focuses attention on the need to addressed the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.
The celebration was presided over by County Minister for Education ICT and Human capacity development Dr. John Obiero Ogone, who in his speech recognised education, training, entry into the work force, access to information, communication technology and resources set for the girl child.
The annual event comes in the wake of conversations around gender equity and policy formulation in Kisumu County.
By Matilda Atieno
Find attached the Shortlisted candidates for the Various positions of Chief Officers and Directors in various directorates.
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Kisumu has envisioned a County in which all individuals and persons living with disability (PWD) in the communities have the opportunity to reach their highest potential in all sectors.
Recognizing that gender is a variable in support of human development, County government of Kisumu strive to localize measures being taken to improve gender relations by promoting men’s understanding of their familial and social roles in family planning and sexual and reproductive health issues.
The gender analysis dialogue held at Ahero in Nyando Sub County, brought together key stakeholders including, state and county gender officers, Sub County health workers, education officers, teachers and the business community to deliberate on family planning as a component of Reproductive and Maternal Newborns Care and Adolescent Health (RAMNCAH) with development of male engagement focusing on disability as one of key recommendations and action points to clearly help define strategies of reaching male clients and partners for reproductive health-related services through multi-sectoral collaboration.
The meeting organized by Afya Halisi, a USAID program in collaboration with County directorate of gender and health department provided an opportunity for brainstorming on male involvement in health matters.
Traditionally, health care providers and researchers in the field of reproductive health have focused almost exclusively on women when planning programs and services. However, efforts have been made to broaden men’s responsibility for their reproductive health as well as male involvement in reproductive health for female partners living with disability.
According to director gender Adah Omedi, the enactment of Kisumu County Persons with Disability Act (2016), which recognizes health, norms, economic empowerment, roles and relations as key determinants of the well-being of PWDs across sectors, provides for the rights and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities. Mrs. Omedi stressed that Disability is a gender issue and that Kisumu county is recognized as the first county to ratify the Disability Act of 2016.
“Due to the higher vulnerability to health concerns, PWDs have the same health needs as every other member of the population, including immunization, screening, sexual and reproductive health, and all other aspects of regular healthcare.” Said Mrs. Omedi.
Health is a disability rights issue, which is why Article 25 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities sets out the normative framework which should govern disabled people’s access to healthcare. More importantly, is sexual and reproductive health (SRH) which is an essential component of health and a pillar for sustainable development. However, there is good evidence that the SRH needs of people living with disabilities have been neglected for decades because of the widespread view that they are not sexually active.
While it goes without saying that people with disability have equal rights to sexual and reproductive desires and hopes as non-disabled people, society has disregarded their sexuality and reproductive concerns, aspirations and human rights.
The 2 day training recommended special efforts that will emphasize men’s shared responsibility and promote their active involvement in responsible parenthood, sexual and reproductive behavior including family planning; prenatal, maternal child health; prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV; prevention of unwanted and high-risk pregnancies; shared control and contribution to family income, children’s education, health and nutrition; recognition and promotion of the equal value of children of both sexes.
Discussion of health needs of PWD should take into account improved technologies, health and social care that are increasingly available to people with different impairments.
The team also suggested that male responsibilities in family life must be included in the education of children from the earliest ages adding that Special emphasis should be placed on the prevention of violence against women and children.
The above challenge calls for more intense efforts to foster partnerships between men and women which help men identify with the magnitude and range of reproductive illnesses which affect women.
By Matilda Atieno
The County directorate of gender in collaboration with Equality Now and other partners held a capacity building training of Members of County assembly and County Executive Committee on legislative drafting and policy formulation processes in gender mainstreaming.
The 2 days’ workshop brought together MCAs and CECs drawn from three counties including Busia, Makueni and Kisumu, with shared experiences on the gender equality and sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) progress.
The objectives of the training include, to enhance understanding of legislative drafting principles among the MCAs and CECs, enhance the mastery of knowledge on policy formulation processes, providing a platform to deliberate on the challenges encountered in executing their mandate and introduce the model policy on SGBV to the MCAs and CECs.
Speaking during the official opening of the workshop, County Minister for Education ICT and Human Capacity development, Dr. Obiero Ogone, reiterated that county government remains steadfast in its support and commitment towards promoting programs for gender equality in Kisumu County.
“SGBV is a global human rights problem that is connected to gender inequalities and power imbalances, as a county government of Kisumu we have a responsibility to tackle cases of SGBV and believe that the SGBV Policy is critical,” said Dr. Ogeno,
The county minister challenged stakeholders to take up responsibility to tackle cases of SGBV adding that the gender mainstreaming policy and SGBV policy is critical.
The County Director of Gender, Adah Amedi highlighted the main programs of the directorate including women economic empowerment, fostering of women in leadership and participation in decision making, establishment of safe to protect the survivors of SGBV and the formation of Sub-County integrated technical working groups.
“We have a County GBV Technical Working Group made up of both state and non-state actors whose main mandate is prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence in the county through activities such as linkages, referrals and follow up of cases.” Said Ms. Amedi.
The directorate is also working towards formulation of the SGBV policy and a gender mainstreaming policy which are both on the pipeline.
Also present were members of the Kisumu County assembly gender committee chaired by Hon. Rashid Miruka of Nyakach, CEC members of gender Busia and Makueni.