Australia tells Kenya to increase gender equity

March 30, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30- Visiting Australia Governor-General Quentin Alice Louise Bryce on Monday lauded Kenyans efforts towards gender equity but said more has to be done in the area of girl child education.

Speaking during a meeting with prominent Kenyan women leaders, Ms Quentin Bryce said the 47 percent transitional rate to university is a challenge that should be given priority.

“We have a lot of challenges in our country to achieve fulfill and equal status for women but here I believe our most important work is for the world community to assist Kenya in your efforts for the girl child and for their education” the Governor General said.

The Australian Governor-General of the Commonwealth was in Kenya since Saturday on a visit that was expected to strengthen the political and economic ties between Kenya and Australia.

“It’s been said that often in Africa the face of poverty is a woman but what I have learned while I have been here is the face of leadership in Africa in the future is a woman,” she said.

Renowned educationist Eddah Gachukia challenged education specialist to concentrate on enhancing quality participation by girls especially in North Eastern and Nyanza provinces where performance is wanting.

Dr Gachukia further appealed to the Governor-General to accord more girls the opportunities to study abroad through instituting an affirmative action programme.

On her part, said that her government would consider enhancing the scholarship programmes to have more Kenyan students in Australian campus.

The Governor General called for better financing of the gender equality programmes to ensure they achieved there intended targets.

“We must energise our efforts to ensure that girls are empowered; that the programmes that are being run by AusAID, by very many NGO’s and local grassroots levels here are as strong and powerful and resourced as possible so that girls are given true equality of opportunity to reach there potential,” she said.

The function was initially planned to be held at the Kenyatta University but was moved to a city hotel following overnight riots at the university.
The Governor-General has had a distinguished career as an academic and a lawyer and was a lecturer and tutor in law at the University of Queensland for 15 years.

During her trip to Kenya, Ms Quentin Bryce visited Kawangware School and AusAID assisted Muusini Primary School on the outskirts of Nairobi. The school has been able to provide clean water and sanitation as a result of Australian Government assistance.

“I enjoyed enormously the time that I spent visiting school here, I have learnt the challenges for boys and girls in education in the rural areas, I have enjoyed so much that part of my visit to talk with women about their families and their backgrounds learning so much”, she said.


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