NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 8 – One out of every three women in Kenya has experienced violence before attaining the age of 18, Youth and Gender Affairs CS Cecily Kariuki says.
Speaking at celebrations to mark the International Women’s day at the KICC, Kariuki noted that gender based violence remains a stumbling block towards achieving equality and empowerment of women today although great strides have been achieved.
“As we celebrate the International Women’s day, it’s a great opportunity as well to train ourselves on the thorny issues of child marriages, FGM which continues to hinder the administrations advances to attain gender equality,” said Kariuki.
Through programmatic interventions and partnerships, the CS noted that the ministry will work towards ensuring that women’s rights are viewed as human rights and not otherwise.
“This state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue in a progressive and modern society, responding to violence and discrimination against women will remain a priority area for the ministry,” said the CS.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta who officiated the celebrations at the Kenya International Convention Centre (KICC) stated women’s equal participation in decision-making and politics is not only a demand for simple justice or democracy, but a necessary pre-condition for women’s interests to be taken into account.
“We are observing this day at an opportune time because around the world countries have galvanized efforts towards the attainment of Sustainable development goals (SDG) which have placed women’s agenda as a key development imperative,” said the First Lady.
“At the continental level, this decade is the African union decade for women. The AU agenda 2063 clearly articulates the continents commitment to achieve gender equality and empowerment at both regional and global level.”
The first lady also launched the gender based violence and the end child marriage campaign a joint initiative with government, the UN program and the African union.
The campaign calls for Kenyans to step up and come against all forms of violence in all spaces.