Nairobi hosts women's rights convention

The 2023 Women's Rights Convention media coordinator Agnes Nonsizi during a previous event. [File, Standard]

The annual Women Rights Convention 2023 edition set off today at a Nairobi hotel with a high-powered delegation from government agencies and key partners who advocate for change through a unique philosophy of impacting lives for the transformation of communities. 

According to Agnes Nonsizi, the event’s media coordinator, the two-day event, which is in its third year, has established itself as a pivotal platform for dialogue, networking, and advocacy on critical issues around women's and girls’ rights issues. She says this year’s theme is "Inclusive Governance: Sote Pamoja”. 

“This highlights the imperative of fostering inclusive governance processes that include women's voices, perspectives, and needs in Kenya's governance and national development agenda,” says Nonsizi. 

The convention brings together civil society actors, women's rights organizations, academia, high-ranking government officials, policymakers, development partners, and marginalized groups, including women, youth, persons with disabilities, and ethnic minorities. 

“This diverse and influential gathering aims to facilitate robust discussions, knowledge sharing, and collaborative action to advance women's rights, enhance inclusive governance, and dismantle barriers that hinder equal participation,” says Daisy Amdany, Executive Director of CRAWN Trust. 

She emphasised the significance of the event: "The Annual Women’s Rights Convention provides a unique platform to bring together change-makers from various sectors to collectively address the challenges that persist in achieving gender equality and inclusive governance. Through collaborative efforts, we aim to drive tangible policy changes and empower women to take on leadership roles." 

Key thematic areas of the convention include the two-thirds gender rule, assessing women's political participation, promoting investments in women, and intergenerational mentorship for women leaders among others. The convention's agenda is designed to foster insightful dialogue, explore best practices, and generate actionable recommendations for advancing gender equality and inclusive governance. 

The chief guest is the Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Gender and Affirmative Action the Hon. Aisha Jumwa. Other honoured guests for the two-day convention include the Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya Christopher Thornley, renowned women's rights advocates Lina Jebii Kilimo, Sophia Abdi Noor, Beatrice Elachi, and representatives from donor agencies including UN Women. 

At the end of the convention, the partners will commit to the effective implementation of the two-thirds gender rule and the initiation of policy and legislative changes that enhance inclusive governance. 

“By addressing these key areas, the convention aims to contribute to a more equitable and just society where all citizens' voices are heard and represented,” reports Amdany. 

Other partners include the University of Nairobi Women’s Economic Empowerment Hub (UON WEE Hub), Echo Network Africa (ENA), Women’s Political Alliance (WPA), Justice, Advocacy and Empowerment Centre (JAEC), the National Women Steering Committee (NWSC), Maendeleo Ya Wanawake (MYWO), Reinvent Kenya, The African Women's Development Fund (AWDF), and The Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (Kewopa). 

The Annual Women’s Rights Convention 2023 is a hybrid event, featuring both in-person and virtual participation to accommodate diverse audiences.