Women told to engage govt over new law

October 10, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 10 – Women in the country have been urged to actively engage with the government to ensure that it effectively implements all the provisions that favour them as outlined in the new Constitution.

Nominated Member of Parliament Sofia Abdi Noor said on Sunday that the new law provides a platform through which women can be empowered and gender issues can be effectively articulated.

“Kenyan women are still celebrating the gains realised in the new constitutional dispensation. However, it is still important that all of us come together and try to see that it is implemented; we do not want lip service anymore,” she stated.

While lauding the government for undertaking measures such as the creation of the Gender, Children and Social Development Ministry and the establishment of the Women Enterprise Fund, she recommended the involvement of those at the grass root level in initiatives that seek to promote their empowerment.

Their involvement in decision-making, she argued would in turn ensure their full participation in national development.

However, the women themselves must also be prepared to take full advantage of the constitutions, which also seeks to empower them economically, she added.

For instance, she said women now have an equal opportunity to win government tenders but they would only do so if they are prepared by for example having the technical and economic expertise needed to undertake the various projects.

Mrs Noor spoke during the opening of a week long conference dubbed the “African Women’s Decade” where civil society organisations are expected to deliberate on actions that African governments should take to ensure the advancement of women’s rights in the continent. About 3000 delegates including Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf are expected to attend the meeting.

Here, she spoke against the formulation of policies that are never implemented and challenged African governments to execute them so that their citizens can benefit from them.

“We don’t just want to see something that is written on a paper but we want that to be implemented. It is not the time for action plan; it is not the time for strategy development and it is not time for research. We have finished those things. We are saying implement; implement, implement,” the nominated MP stated.

She also called for the operationalisation of the Trust Fund for African Women’s Economic Empowerment, which was one of the African Union’s commitments.

It is only through this action, she said that the success of the African Women’s Decade which seeks to accelerate the implementation and attainment of the goals articulated by the AU in various protocols and conventions can be guaranteed.


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