Men to attend gender and affirmative action meetings, say CS Jumwa

CS Public Service Gender and Affirmative Action Aisha Jumwa Katana during the launch of UHR system and GHRIS infrastructure at the Kenya Government School on December 19, 2022. [Samson Wire, Standard].

Men have been challenged to participate and avail themselves in meetings to fight against gender based violence.

The decision was floated during the launch of the male Engagement and Inclusion Thematic Committee by the National Gender sector working group.

This even as the data reveals that there is remarkable progress in the process of reducing gender based violence in Kenya.

According to the new details by the World Economic Forum Gender Data, Kenya Gender Development Index has improved from its former position 118 in 2018 to 56 in 2022 in a global rating.

On the other hand, the Gender Sector Working Group held that there has been significant progress in promoting positive social norms, attitudes and behaviours that prevent Gender Based Violence.

Cabinet secretary for ministry of public service, gender and affirmative action Aisha Jumwa Katana, while addressing the committee said this will bridge the gap of inequality in the sector.

"This will provide a unique opportunity for us to synergize our efforts and build a brighter future for both men and women alike," said Jumwa.

Jumwa challenged the team to identify the key areas that will improve and champion the process.

"As we delve into gender issues and reflect on our journey towards equality, let us identify the bottlenecks in our strategies and capitalize on the political goodwill that surrounds us," she said.

She said that the government is committed to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls and is currently implementing the 9-point agenda that will cover critical areas in the sector.

Jumwa urged the non-state agencies and other stakeholders present to support them in actualising their goal.

"It is critical for all actors' state and non-state to align to the Government priorities so that we can deliver as one and meet the essential purpose of the Gender Sector Working Group platform," said the CS.

She added that the government is planning on how information will be re-evaluated to go beyond to strengthen the relationships.

The CS pleaded with the Gender Sector Working Group to uphold their principles and support towards the projects by the government.

"The expectations here are that donors' support will be better coordinated, aligned to the Country priorities, delivered in a harmonized way and results to be measured with mutual accountability," said Jumwa.

At the same time, the CS said that Alignment to the Government priorities is very critical in availing support to both state and non-state actors calling out for a more coordinated Gender Sector - state and non-state actors.

Jumwa, noting on the difficulty of accessing data relating to the gender programmes and investment in the Country said that there is need for the development of a one stop centre to get a view of what is happening Gender Equality on matters

"We need one stop shop on Gender Data, which can provide real time data on the mapping of Gender Equality initiatives in the country, county based indicating the actors, geographical coverage and development partner's investments. And we can add on other variables," she said.

USAID mission director, David Gosney, complementing what she said challenged the stakeholders to foster in collaborations to uniformly achieve the set agenda.

"We know that there are insufficient resources to address all the challenges we are facing in the process, and therefore we have to actively collaborate with the government to achieve this," said Gosney.