By Matilda Atieno
The County gender directorate in partnership with Equality Now and KMET organised a two day consultative dialogue with the County’s Ward Administrators to deliberate on the just-concluded budget estimates process.
The forum provided an opportunity for the stakeholders to discuss gender responsive budgeting and reflect on public participation in the county planning and budgeting processes, with specific emphasis on gender priorities in addressing Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Kisumu.
In her remarks, Program Officer at Equality Now Miss Peninah Masore emphasised on the significance of a gender-responsive budgeting in upstreamining gender equality and public financial management as provided under the Constitution of Kenya, the County Government Act and the Public Finance Management Act which emphasizes on the county government responsibility in guaranteeing budgeting processes and ensuring inclusivity by reflecting on the contextual priorities and challenges encountered in addressing Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
SDG Kenya Forum representative, Mr. Festus Odingo gave an analysis of the previous county budgets and noted that budgets are a powerful tool for achieving development objectives and act as an indicator of commitment to the set government policies. Mr. Odingo also noted that county budget plays a major role in achieving the objective of gender equality.
On behalf of the ward administrators, the county director administration Mr. Leonard Kwama expressed optimism that the proposals, ideas and suggestions from the county Consultative Dialogue in gender responsive budgeting will form a workable blueprint to tackle gender issues.
He said to implement solutions and recommendations from the dialogue, it would require holistic and collective county efforts anchored on integrity of action to halt the SGBV in the ward level.
The Dialogue is to ensure a broad-based consensus and a workable blueprint to promote sustainable gender responsive budget practices to stem gender inequality.
The participants are, therefore, expected to engage in honest conversation devoid of partisan politics and parochial interests to find workable solutions towards engendering county budget.
The workshop also focused on highlighting steps being contemplated to increase gender inclusion in kisumu’s budget and suggestion of action points going forward.
The consultative dialogue brought together 35 ward administrators in the county as well as the Chairperson and a member of the Gender Committee of the County Assembly, the County Directors for Planning and Statistics, Public Participation and Administration, the National Gender Equality Commission and SDG Kenya Forum.