NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 1 – The government has reaffirmed commitment to gender issues after it appointed the Permanent Representative to the United Nations Macharia Kamau to co-chair the team developing sustainable development goals, post 2015.
Speaking at a meeting with British envoy Christian Turner, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru said that the country’s development agenda is based on gender issues.
Waiguru added that Kenya would support stand alone gender equality and women’s empowerment goals in the post 2015 framework and mainstreaming of gender issues in all other goals.
Applauding this effort, the envoy pledged to support programs on ending early childhood marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and promised to work closely with gender directorate and newly formed anti-FGM board.
In line with this, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron will in July host a summit aimed at ending early childhood marriage and galvanizing efforts to end FGM.
Discussions also focused on donor engagement in devolution and the role of development partners in strengthening national development.
The team established on January 22, 2013 is dubbed Open Working Group and is charged with the mandate of designing Sustainable Development Goals after the expiry of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015.
Also appointed as co-chair the group is Permanent representative of Hungary Csaba Kõrösi.
Lobby group Kituo Cha Sheria in January called on the government to recommend the inclusion of “Access to Justice” as a target in the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Executive Director Gertrude Angote explained that the addition will ensure that the poor and marginalised globally can access legal services.
“The debate to have legal empowerment and access for justice for all is not a Kenyan debate, it should be a global debate. The need for legal empowerment should be recognised in the next phase of the MDGs and added as a matter of global urgency,” said Angote.
She encouraged the National Assembly to commence the step by approving the Legal Aid Bill.