The government has increased the budgetary allocation for the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) from Sh100 million to Sh240 million, Gender, Culture and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa has said.
The move is part of efforts to eradicate the vice that is rampant in parts of the country.
Speaking today during the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) meeting at Sarova Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa, Jumwa announced that the government was also working on the Gender Equality Bill to empower women.
She called on the Igad nations to collectively consider financing women programmes, including the campaigns against gender based violence (GBV) and economic empowerment.
"As a country, we have many legal frameworks and financed programmes on gender. We have increased the annual budget to fight FGM from Sh100 million to Sh240 million," she said.
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During the meeting, ministers from the Igad nations adopted a regional gender strategy and a regional action plan on women, peace and security.
The CS, Minister for Family Affairs for Djibouti Mona Osman, Alemitu Omut (Ethiopia), Khadija Diriye (Somalia), Warille Aya (South Sudan), Bakhit Ahmed (Sudan), and Peace Mutuuzo of Uganda endorsed the agreement to advance the interests of women in the region.
Igad executive secretary Workneh Gebeyehu, who was handed a second term in office, and United Nations special envoy for the Horn of Africa, said the two documents would increase opportunities for women within Igad member states.
Igad represents Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan.
"We must also collectively deplore the structural, policy, and legislative obstacles that impede the realization of the shared aspiration of women’s empowerment and agency," Dr Gebeyehu said.
The Igad chief noted that women find themselves on the frontlines of the root causes, triggers, and drivers of insecurity.
He said minimal implementation of national action plans due to the absence of government funding and a lack of political will are major challenges in member states.
"Additionally, there is insufficient technical capacity and support to effectively implement the national action plans, as well as a lack of donor and UN support for implementation and monitoring," he noted.