Tuesday, 30 July 2019 05:54

BEIJING PLATFORM FOR CHANGE

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This year, Kenya is among the 189 countries celebrating the twenty fifth anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA), which was unanimously adopted during Fourth World Conference for women in 1995. One of the resolutions from BPFA is for the 189 countries to develop a progress report every five years to ensure that they are on track. The state department of Gender has developed the BPFA +25 progress report, which builds on the achievements and progress, reported in 2015. The Council of Governors, state department of Gender, County Assemblies Forum and select Counties to review Kenya’s BPFA +25 report, to ensure the it reflects the correct status at the county level as guided by the 12 critical areas of the 1995 Beijing Conference.

“Even with the introduction of Devolution, Gender is a concurrent function and the National and County Governments have to work together” said Faith Kasiva, Principle Secretary State Department of Gender in remarks during the meeting. She further lauded Meru County for launching the Sexual and Gender Based Violence Policy mentioning that Counties have made major strides in women empowerment and legislation. “Our two levels of government are duty bearers I am therefore encouraged to see the strides that counties are making through legislation and subsequently protecting women” said gender PS. The BPFA +25 progress report is a build up to the BPFA +20 focusing mainly on the implementation progress over the last five years. It demonstrates critical achievements, challenges and opportunities to accelerate realization of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. In addition it takes cognizance of the interlinkages between the twelve critical areas of concern of the BPfA and the 2030 Agenda on sustainable development. The report highlights how the two reinforce progress for all women and girls.

Although Gender is not a devolved function, Counties have achieved a lot since the promulgation of the CoK 2010. The involvement of Counties in the review of the BPFA +25 ensured that County initiatives were included in the final report. Some of them include the formation of an Intergovernmental Forum between the two levels of government allowing the two to effectively coordinate on matters related to gender. Counties have formed multi-sectoral technical working groups co-chaired by the CEC and County Commissioner to deal on matters related to Gender based violence (GBV) and FGM.

It is said, educate a woman and you educate a nation. Under the stewardship of the Council of Governors in partnership with UN Women, a Women in leadership curriculum was developed and successfully rolled out to the 47 counties whose key objective was to building the capacity of women leaders at the County. Further there are several initiatives like a pioneer program for Gender data sheets, to be launched in August in 10 counties with the support of UN Women and KNBS and coordinated by the COG.

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