By Matilda Atieno
CEC member for Education John Awiti addressing participants during the SRHR and gender equality workshop held at Acacia Hotel In Kisumu
The county government in partnership with Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK) held a 3-day workshop in a deliberate effort to emphasize Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and gender equality as fundamental to an individual, organization as well as to the social and economic of communities.
The training brought together key decision-makers and duty bearers including county directors, state and none state officers. The workshop was also graced by CEC member for Education, IT & Human Capacity Development, John Awiti, who acknowledged the need to create awareness on SRHR, urging the team to cascade the training to the community to create impact across the county. He noted that the training would provide a springboard for increasing knowledge on the SRHR and Gender Equality in the community.
The County Minister also challenged the duty bearers to reflect on how to capitalize on the different perspectives and mandates to catalyze and accelerate the achievement of gender equality in their jurisdiction.
The workshop confirmed important aspects of the relationship between sexual reproductive health rights and gender equality with the most encompassing the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health.
Most Importantly, the workshop signaled an integrated approach to gender equality and recognized that human rights have a crucial role to play in relation and access to quality sexual and reproductive health and were of the consensus that the right to sexual and reproductive health encompasses both freedom from discrimination, and entitlements, and in the context of sexual and reproductive health, freedom includes a right to control one’s health and body.
It was also noted that increased attention be devoted to a proper understanding of health rights, as well as gender equality, given the nature of the state policies on the right to health with the focus on understanding SRHR.
Considered together, the training was intended to contribute to the efforts by the decision-makers to exercise and champion the rights to sexual reproductive health and have an indispensable role to play in the struggle against gender inequality.
The workshop was directed by the Project Coordinator FHOK Mr. Edwine Nyanja with facilitators including State Gender Officer Joel Okumu, Patricia Orawo of KMET County officer in charge of Gender, Adah Omedi, and County Reproductive health officer Jackton Okeyo.