Kisii County in urgent need of a gender policy to curb GBV

Despite having a high prevalence rate of reported GBV cases, Kisii County still lags in providing a framework for addressing GBV cases, monitoring and evaluating GBV in the county, and a subsequent budgetary allocation to address gender concerns in the county through the adoption of a gender policy.

Kenya's seven 7 counties (Makueni, Kisumu, Migori, Meru, Isiolo, Mombasa and Narok) have adopted their county gender policies. Though some of the counties are struggling with the implementation of the policy, some counties like Makueni have included Gender as a development issue, hence, influencing budgetary allocations for gender concerns.

Recently, Mombasa County established Tononoka Children's court as stipulated in their gender policy. This is a positive indicator of a successful gender policy that calls for efficient and effective service delivery and ensures justice is served.

The government has made commendable and deliberate steps to eradicate SGBV through a robust legislative framework namely: The Kenyan Constitution 2010, the sexual offences act No.3 of 2006, the victim protection act No. 17 of 2014, the County government's act (No 17 of 2012) which provides for the devolution of health services to the county and the Bill of Rights.

Regionally, Kenya is one of the signatories of the Maputo Protocol, which is one of the most progressive legal instruments providing a comprehensive set of human rights for African women, CEDAW and the generation equality Forum commitments to ending GBV and FGM.

This is a clear call for all the counties, including Kisii County, to put strategies in place to support the realization of gender equality in Kenya.

-The writer is Youth Advisor, Center for Community Mobilization and Empowerment (CECOME) [email protected]