By Matilda Atieno
With support from PLAN International, a non-state actor in the fight against Gender-Based Violence, the County Government of Kisumu through the Directorate of Gender, domiciled under the department of Education, ICT and Human Capacity Development, organized a 3 days workshop for the duty bearers aiming at SGBV prevention and response work.
According to the Officer In-charge of Gender, Madam Adah Omedi stated that the purpose was to engage stakeholders on a strategic insight that describes pathways of change adopted to prevent, mitigate, and respond to SGBV by actors. This comes in view of the 2019 SGBV policy that is currently under review. The training also emphasized decision-making in preventing and responding to SGBV issues through the provision of comprehensive services to survivors as well as strengthening community-based responses and referral networks.
While acknowledging the momentum gained in the last few years since the launch of the Kisumu County SGBV policy, the County Director for social services Phiona Okwiri, stated that the training provides opportunities for identifying implementation gaps and challenges with regards to prevention and response to SGBV in Kisumu.
The Program manager of Plan International, Mr. Douglas Ongoro called on the participants and duty bearers to focus on creating awareness and sensitizing communities on their role in curbing SGBV and encouraging them to offer requisite support to survivors in their localities with regards, to prevention, protection and response.
The workshop brought together officers from various disciplines including gender, social development, ICT and Education to embrace a multi-sectoral approach and strengthen coordination among service providers and referral systems. The objective of the training was to engage in the rights-based approach, the survivor-centered approach, community-based protection, and the Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) approach.
The workshop identified gaps with clear recommendations Including; focusing on eliminating barriers in SGBV prevention and response, scaling up advocacy efforts, sensitization of the community and authorities, establishing an integrated data information system with the help of ICT, strengthening multi-sectoral structures, introducing a digital data collection system that produces real-time data, resource mobilization towards safe houses, recruitment and training of more champions, creation of visibility, petitioning County assembly, the provision of Monitoring and evaluation system based on standard operations, media awareness and formulation of SGBV Bill.
The Policy thus sets out to narrow these gaps in the context of the planned priorities aligned with the guiding principles and in partnership with other stakeholders.