, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 8 – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has called on women to use their influence to spread peace and progress in the country.
The First Lady said true peace and development can only be achieved through the inclusion of women in all community initiatives and programmes including peace building.
- The First Lady said true peace and development can only be achieved through the inclusion of women in all community initiatives and programmes including peace building.
- International Women's Day is marked annually on March 8 to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements made by women.
The First Lady who spoke during the International Women’s Day celebrations at Kenyatta International Convention Centre-(KICC) said women have always strived to ensure peace prevails despite holding different political and religious views.
International Women’s Day is marked annually on March 8 to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements made by women.
This year’s global theme is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”.
During the celebrations, the First Lady launched the Strategic National Action Plan for the Kenyan women.
The strategic national action plan which is aligned to the United Nations Security Resolution 1325, calls for inclusiveness, better coordination, accountability and participation from key stakeholders in the area of peace.
The First Lady said 50 percent of Kenya’s population is made up of women.
As such, she pointed out, actions of women, measurable and immeasurable, hold up half of the society of this country and hence the need to involve them in peace building initiatives.
“These women wield incredible power – As wives and child bearers, mothers, leaders, decision makers and workers. They build homes, bring in incomes, educate children, and silently influence community decisions,” said the First Lady.
The First Lady said women always seek peace first whenever there are threats of strife and encourage reconciliation where divisions arise.
She especially singled out athlete Tegla Lorupe and nominated Senator Naisula Lesuuda who have played a crucial role in spearheading peace in Pokot and Samburu communities respectively.
“We recognise civil society leaders, government agencies and the international community like the UN and the EU who work collectively to lead peace building efforts that have transformed the conditions of suffering at both individual and collective levels. I am proud of you all, as you work towards a more inclusive society,” affirmed the First Lady.
She however said that despite various achievements by the Kenyan women, they still face incredible threats in their daily activities and are partly targeted because of the powerful role they play in society.
“Rape, Female Genital Mutilation, domestic violence – all remain a very real daily threat to many women in Kenya and Africa. Women, girls and children are specially targeted as vulnerable members of the society,” said the First Lady.
She thanked all who participated in this years’ First Lady’s Half Marathon last Sunday, saying majority of the participants were women.
Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Cecily Kariuki said through the strong legal and policy environment accompanied by the political will, the Government has ensured requisite partnerships and allocation of enough resources towards gender equality and women empowerment.
“As we celebrate strides that Kenya has made through its various interventions, I take note that the Government agenda in gender equality and women empowerment is securely guided by the constitution and is aligned to the sustainable development goals and other continental and global framework,” said the CS.
The chairperson for Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOPA) Cecily Mbarire who is also the Runyenjes MP challenged women to seek more political positions in the next General Elections even as she announced her intention to vie for Embu Governor’s seat.
She said if there were more women MP’s the issue of passing the two thirds gender rule in parliament would not be a challenge.
“This is a challenge top women politicians, please don’t fear to seek more seats in the 290 constituencies. We need at least 50 women elected in the 290 constituencies,” she said.
This year’s celebrations will reflect on how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals.
The Jubilee Administration has placed women at the centre of national development more than any other government in the country’s history.
Although the minimum one-third Constitutional requirement on women representation in Parliament is yet to be met, their representation in the 11th Parliament stands at 24.64 percent compared to the paltry 9.9 percent in the 10th Parliament.