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.
The County Department of Education, IT and Human Capacity Development in partnership with World Vision and Ecumenical Centre for Justice and Peace (ECJP) organized a stakeholders’ validation meeting for Kisumu County Youth Development plan 2019/23 at St. John’s Manor Hotel, Millimani.
This is one of the initiatives that gives framework to youth empowerment. The youth plan which was developed under the consultancy of Mr. Wilson Nindo will be a guide to service provision in collaboration with development partners.
On his part, the Ag County Director Youth Affairs, Mr. George Orude said they would form a County Technical Working Committee to oversee the implementation framework of the plan, policy and legislation gaps in order to fast track its adoption by the Assembly, coordination mechanism through which the youths can choose their leaders from County to grass root levels and conduct awareness of the existing plan to all youths across the County.
Mr. Timothy Kajwang’ who is in charge of national youth affairs Kisumu County branch, called on the youths to remain committed to the plan and heed to instructions given by their leaders for personal development.
The Nyakach North MCA, Hon Rashid Miruka who is also in charge of the Youth affairs in the County Assembly, said they had initiated a caucus that ensures Youth affairs are considered during budgetary allocations, this will ensure the youths get a substantive amount in relation to the number of youths per ward.
The CEC Member for Education, IT and Human Capacity Development, Dr John Obiero Ogone while officiating the validation meeting said, “In the spirit of the constitution, we are committed to cascading the structures of Youth governance all the way to the village level”.
He also promised to hold more civic education forums for the youths and encouraged them to actively participate in Public participation so that they have a clue of activities and programs taking place in the County.
The Stakeholders who attended comprised of County Chief Officers, County Directors, representatives from partners, youths across the County among other guests.
County directorate of Youth affairs in partnership with World Vision and Ecumenical Centre of justice and peace have organized a five day workshop in Nyakach Sub County to empower the youth on economic development.
The program focuses on sharpening the skills of the youths on resource management, online business promotion to help diversify on the available opportunities, banking institutions and devolved opportunities such as the Uwezo fund, revolving funds and networking in order to emulate best practices from successful youths.
The capacity building program is currently taking place in Siany resource center for Persons with disabilities, which is comprising of youths from Nyakach South East and South West, another venue is at Kolweny which has accommodated youths from Nyakach West and Central and a third venue at Pap Onditi which is taking care of youths from North Nyakach.
This move comes after drafting of the County Youth development Plan which is in the process of validation.
“You the media, are powerful. You reach millions of people, you have the tools to challenge rigid gender roles and empower both men and women”, remarked Atieno Otieno the County Director of Communications when she joined DW Akademie and two of Kisumu’s esteemed radio stations for the launch of their gender policies.
Sky FM and Radio Lake Victoria on Wednesday made history when they launched their Gender Policies at a ceremony attended by radio journalists from Kisumu, Bungoma, Webuye and Nakuru. The policies are a set of guidelines for the stations to guarantee equal rights and opportunities for all ; tools to advance gender parity in radio programming.
The launch was organized by DW Akademie who are the supporting partners in media development in Kenya.
In attendance, the County Director of Gender and Youth Affairs Ms Adah Omedi said that Gender policy is developed out of the recognition that there still are disparities among men and women in various spheres of life. She announced that the County Government was at an advanced stage in the development of a Sexual Gender Based Violence policy and a Gender mainstreaming policy.
In her remarks, Sigrid Thomsen, DW Akademie’s project lead applauded the two radio stations for fostering an Integrated Policy Agenda which is a big step towards bridging the gender gap.
Also present was the Managing Director of Sky FM, Mr. Daniel Kirathe, Mr. Arthur Okwemba a media consultant for DW Akademie, Association of Media Women in Kenya representative Josephine Wareta, station managers, among other stakeholders.
The policy is in line with the Kenya National Policy on Gender and Development (NPGD), which clearly states that it is the right of women, men, girls and boys to participate in and benefit equally from the development process including appropriate affirmative action at all levels.
“Getting women in front of the camera or the microphone is only half the battle; we also need fundamentally to change the way we interact and the language that we use,” concluded Atieno.
A bout 30 new cancer cases are reported monthly at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) indicating very high incidences, this is according to report by the health directorate, following the current intervention strategy programs and services put in place to increase screening among undeserved populations in Kisumu.
It is on the basis of the rising cases of cancer that the Counties First Ladies Association (CFLA ) in partnership with Roche, Women 4 Cancer and Africa Cancer Foundation visited JOOTRH earlier this week in a fact finding mission intended to establish the facts and circumstances of the cancer scourge in eight counties, including, Kisumu, Makueni, Bungoma, Kakamega, Meru, Laikipia, TaitaTaveta, and Nakuru.
Mama Kisumu, Dorothy Nyong’o played host to H. E Nazi Kuvutha together with the partners who pledged commitment to support the fight against cancer through implementation of an Enabling and Motivating Partnership Owned by Women to Engage and Reclaim their lives (EMPOWER).
On their tour to Kisumu’s JOOTRH, the partnership sought to understand facts, challenges and recommendations towards Cancer intervention strategies that will inform the EMPOWER project which seeks to contribute to the prevention, early diagnosis, treatment with standard care and education of women in the community on cervical and breast cancer.
Speaking during stakeholders meeting that brought together, Radiation Oncologists, oncology nurses, specialist and county health officials, H.E Nazi Kivutha of Makueni County expresses her commitment towards the fight against cancer through establishing EMPOWER projects in the Counties in order to prioritize cancer care and treatment as well as strengthening the health care systems for treatment in the counties.
In her remarks, Mama Kisumu pledged support from cancer diagnosis to availability of treatment, adding that in order to kick cancer out of Kisumu, screening must be perfected through treatment.