Safaricom and Mpesa Foundation launches Pamoja Tuungane Campaign

Safaricom and Mpesa Foundation have today launched Pamoja Tuungane Campaign an initiative aimed at rallying Kenyans to contribute in support of people in Arid and Semi Arid Land counties affected by the ongoing drought.

The drought is a result of three failed rainy seasons which has created food insecurity in 23 counties in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands with 3.1 million people in dire need of food with Marsabit County being one of the worst-hit counties accounting for more than 250,000 people.
 
Speaking during the launch held at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Nairobi today, Cabinet Secretary Prof. Margaret Kobia said that the campaign will complement the Government’s ongoing interventions which include the initial allocation of KES. 2 billion to assist the affected households through relief food distribution, water trucking, and a livestock offtake programme. The Cabinet Secretary highlighted the government’s short and long term plans.
 
“As part of the Government’s commitment to both short term and long-term solution, KES. 46.8 billion has been allocated to address food security in the country for the Financial Year 2022/23,” said Prof. Kobia.

She said the focus for the government is to invest in community-based interventions that will build resilience in all the vulnerable households.

Mr. Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer, said that there was need to strategise on long-term measures especially given that the main cause of such prolonged droughts is the effect of climate change.

“As we flag off this relief food today, we are well aware that we also need to have a conversation about long-term measures to tackle climate change and overeliance on rain fed agriculture,” said Mr. Ndegwa.

The CEO also called upon other corporate organizations and Kenyans across the country to support the cause through cash or food donations.

During the launch, Emergency Relief supplies worth KES. 100 Million were flagged off for 20,000 households in Marsabit County.

Kenyans of goodwill are urged to support this iniative by donating cash or food. The details on how to go about it can be accessed through www.pamojatuungane.co.ke
 
Also present during the launch were, Principal Secretaries Nelson Marwa, Senior Citizens and Specials Programmes, Mr. Micah Powon, Development of ASALs, Michael Josephs, Chairman Safaricom board among others.

Kenya is committed to advancing gender equality to be at the center of solutions on climate change – CS Kobia

The government of Kenya has committed to advancing gender equality to be at the center of solutions on climate change, environment and initiatives for reducing disaster risks.

These remarks were made by Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia during the presentation of the Country Statement at the 66th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66) in New York on Wednesday 16th March 2022.

Prof. Kobia noted that climate change was posing a threat to our planet and existence with Kenya already experiencing climate change effects including rising lakes and drought causing devastation to lives and livelihoods.

This year’s session’s priority theme – achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes – focuses on accelerating action on climate change using a gender lens.

The Cabinet Secretary underscored the impact of climate change on women and girls in Kenya and the need for scaling up interventions to mitigate the adverse effects.

“While everyone is threatened by the impact of climate change, it is the world’s poorest and those in vulnerable situations, especially women and girls, who bear the brunt of climate-related socio-economic issues,” she said.

In his opening remarks during the opening ceremony on Monday 14th March 2022, United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guteres described the climate and environmental crises, coupled with the ongoing economic and social fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the defining issues of our time that need our collective response to chart our course for decades to come.

The Secretary-General told the Commission that when climate disasters strike, as they do with increasing frequency, research shows that women and children are up to 14 times more likely than men to die.

“Everywhere, women and girls face the greatest threats and the deepest harm and while they are taking action to confront the climate and environmental crises, they continue to be largely excluded from the rooms where decisions are taken,” he said.

The UN Chief called for action to put women at the center of decision making for climate change.

Kenya boasts of being among the first African countries to mainstream gender in legislation and policies on climate change interventions. The constitutional provisions on gender equality cover all sectors impacted by climate change.

Some of the interventions on climate change that were highlighted in the country statement include a commitment to spending USD 62 billion in 2020 to aid the implementation of the climate change response strategy; developing a robust architecture of climate change legislation, policies as well as sectoral plans and strategies to address the challenges of climate change; establishment of a Climate Change Directorate to coordinate and provide technical assistance on climate change actions and responses; the establishment of a Climate-Smart Agriculture Strategy to drive sustainable agricultural development for food and nutrition security.

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. Each year, since 1946, the UN through UN Women hosts a session of CSW at the UN Headquarters in New York. This year’s 66th session will take place from 14th March to 25th March.

First Lady Witnesses Signing Of MoU Creating Margaret Kenyatta Institute

NAIROBI, 9th February 2022 (PSCU) – First Lady Margaret Kenyatta today at State House Nairobi witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Beyond Zero and the Kenya School of Government (KSG) establishing the Margaret Kenyatta Institute for Gender and Social Development.

The MoU signed by the KSG Director General Professor Ludeki Chweya and Beyond Zero Coordinator Angela Langat paves the way for the creation the new institution located at KSG’s main campus at Lower Kabete.Speaking at the ceremony, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta said the collaboration between KSG and Beyond Zero had opened a new opportunity for the two organization to jointly promote Kenya’s gender and social development agenda.

“The Memorandum of Understanding we have signed today strengthens the collaboration between our two organizations. This document creates an opportunity for us to jointly play a significant role in promoting our work on issues related to Kenya’s gender and social development agenda,” said the First Lady.

She said the MoU would enable the two institutions to undertake activities that will provide support for women to contribute effectively in the attainment of national and global development goals.“This MOU allows us to jointly utilize our collective knowledge and experience; to apply research, promote innovation, develop training and deliver outreach programs that will address issues that enable progress for our women,” said the First Lady.

The First Lady commended the Ministry of Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes for supporting her office in its efforts to advance Kenya’s Vision 2030 by ensuring women access opportunities to thrive.The MOU was counter-signed by KSG’s Director of Administration Dr. Josephine Mwanzia and the Chief of Staff in the First Lady’s Office, Ms. Constance Gakonyo at the function attended by Attorney General Justice Paul Kihara Kariuki whose office provided legal oversight and guidance in the formulation of the MoU between the two entities.

Public Service Cabinet Secretary Prof. Margaret Kobia said the establishment of the institute at the KSG will strengthen capacity building in the public service, provide solutions to challenges of gender nature and also serve as a rich resource for the School and other learning institutions. Prof. Kobia pointed out that the collaboration between the two institutions will mutually support the national development agenda under Vision 2030, the Big 4 Agenda, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union Agenda 2063.

“All these broad aspirations touch on healthcare, education, poverty alleviation, climate change, inclusive development, gender parity and protection of the rights of persons with disability, women and children with special mention to the welfare of girls. What this means, Your Excellency, is that the work you have been involved in touches people’s hearts,” Prof Kobia said.

KSG Director General Prof. Ludeki Chweya thanked First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for accepting KSG’s request to name the institute after her and to become its patron. Prof. Chweya noted that the signing of the MOU marks a turning point in the already flourishing partnership between Beyond Zero and KSG.“The framework will henceforth guide our two institutions to achieve closer collaboration and beyond this, fulfil jointly agreed upon activities and programmes all of which seek to improve the social life of our citizens,” Prof Chweya said.

He said the MOU for collaboration between Beyond Zero and KSG will enable the two institutions to work together in identifying specific areas for actions touching on training, research, consultancy, policy advisory services and community outreaches.The ceremony was also attended by and Chief Administrative Secretaries Rachael Shebesh and Jebii Kilimo among other senior government officials.

Kenya On Course To Achieving Gender Equality, President Kenyatta Says

Kenya On Course To Achieving Gender Equality, President Kenyatta Says

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said Kenya has put in place a robust policy regime to enable it achieve gender equality, and empowerment of women and girls.

Speaking during the virtual launch of the Kenyan chapter of Generation Equality Forum at State House, Nairobi, President Kenyatta enumerated various initiatives the Government had put in place to ensure gender equity.

He said women are a critical national asset with great potential to shape, influence and contribute to all spheres of development, and that empowering them strengthens the family, society, and the nation at large.

“When countries respect women rights, promote gender equality, and put women and girls at the centre of their development agenda, their societies and economies thrive, and those benefits extend far into future generations.

“Indeed, women are the pillar upon which society leans. Women are drivers of family health and welfare; they inculcate values and nurture the young, and they exert a powerful influence on intergenerational outcomes for their children” the President said.

He announced Government plans to invest Shs 2.3 Billion towards prevention of gender based violence and progressively increase the funding to Shs 5 billion.

Further, the Head of State said the Government would ratify and implement the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 190 on eliminating Gender-Based Violence (GBV), and harassment in the workplace by 2026.He said the Government would conduct a survey on GBV under the 2022 Kenya Demographic Health Survey in addition to developing a system for managing the vice.

The President further noted that GBV including medical, legal, and psychological support services would be integrated into the essential minimum package of UHC by 2022.

He said GBV survivors’ fund will be established in partnership with the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders for survivor’s economic empowerment.

While acknowledging the global nature of FGM affecting more than 200 million women, President Kenyatta enumerated achievements made towards tackling the vice in the country among them setting up an aggressive media campaign to end FGM in 22 counties with high prevalence.

“We have allocated USD 2 million (Shs 200 million) for the implementation of an inter-agency programme on the prevention and response to GBV.

“Equally important to highlight is that cultural and religious leaders from the Borana, Samburu, and Pokot communities have made bold public declarations, to eliminate FGM and child marriage. This includes the ‘Kisima declaration; which I witnessed in Samburu in March of this year,” President Kenyatta said.

Source: PSCU.

NYS Pass out Parade

NYS Pass out Parade

H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta on 24th April, 2021, presided over the National Youth Service Pass Out Parade and the launch of the National Youth Service Tracking System at Gilgil College. 7,479 servicemen and women graduated today having successfully completed 6 months of paramilitary training.

President Kenyatta congratulated the graduands for their courage, discipline and perseverance as they individually and collectively prepare to undertake their civic responsibility of building and serving their country.

He commended the leadership and management for successfully completing the training programme safely without any case of COVID-19 and in full compliance of applicable measures as per The Ministry of Health and World Health Organization guidelines and protocols.

“As we contend with the third wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic, all Kenyans should look to you and to your institution as an example of how ordinary life can continue safely, responsibly, and in full fidelity with the preventative measures put in place to save lives and secure public health,” he said.

His Excellency noted that NYS has provided young Kenyans the skills and competencies for entrepreneurship and employment; in addition to inculcating the ethos of patriotism, loyalty, integrity, duty, and service to the Nation that has made graduands better citizens.

President Kenyatta urged the graduands not to let anything come between them and the transformative journey they have embarked on.

“To our graduands, as you pass-out today and go out into the world as graduates from this highly respected institution, always remember that you are role models for what the ideal citizen should be and further encourage you to carry yourself with dignity, honour, integrity, and with an unshakeable commitment to serving and bettering Kenya,” he said.

Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia thanked the NYS Council and the Management for strengthening effective governance to deliver on the strategic plan while demonstrating good stewardship and accountability.

Prof. Kobia said that the Pass Out Parade was carried out under the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic noting that it was a demonstration that public service delivery has not been disrupted during the pandemic.

“The Pass Out Parade today is proof that with discipline and commitment to purpose, Government’s business continuity and service delivery can be achieved,” she said.

During the event, the Head of State also launched the National Youth Service Tracking System, a system that has been developed to enable prospective employers access potential employees from a large pool of NYS graduates. The system will categorize the graduates by skills acquired and county of residence making it easier for employers to source for skilled labour as may be needed within a specific region.

Since its establishment in 1964, a total of 248,440 servicemen and women have gone through NYS with 101,107 having been admitted in the last seven years.

Congratulations to the 2021 graduates. Go on Be great.

By Andrew Ishepai

OECD: Effective Strategies on Financing GEWE Programs

Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia yesterday joined partners in a virtual event organized to celebrate International Women’s day. The event, organized by OECD Development Co-operation Directorate was held under the theme ‘From recovery to sustainable development: Where is the money for gender equality and women’s empowerment? ‘.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organization that works to build better policies for better lives and has 60 years of experience and insights to better prepare the world of tomorrow. Together with governments, policy makers and citizens, they work on establishing evidence-based international standards and finding solutions to a range of social, economic and environmental challenges.

The discussions by participants centered on effective strategies on financing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment programs.

The Global Gender Index of 2020 report indicates that gender gap is widest globally in the economic participation and opportunity sub index which stood at only 58 percent. This indicates that economically, women are more vulnerable to economic shocks brought about by crises including COVID-19 pandemic.

“The impact of the pandemic on women has been significant. It has led to loss of jobs, increase in GBV cases and has eroded the gains made in the fight for gender equality.” Prof. Kobia noted.

She pointed out that Kenya developed a blue-print ‘Building Back Stronger: Transforming the Kenyan Economy Post-COVID-19’, which among other strategies, addresses the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, including targeted women’s economic strategies and cash transfer programming; containment and mitigation measures to address the burden of care work, particularly those that affect women and girls, including supporting them to recover and build resilience for future shocks; and, programs and policies to provide economic relief based on needs and vulnerabilities.

The Cabinet Secretary added that in order to address gender inequalities and create meaningful change, development partners need to scale up their investment support across key sectors and ensure full participation of women in all Post-COVID-19 response and recovery mechanisms. She called on partners to complement government efforts by increasing their focus on social protection and through skills development and widening their market opportunities. She called on them to invest in programmes that seek to end violence against women and increase access to healthcare, including sexual and reproductive health services.

“The global public health crisis has direct implications on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Kenya stands in solidarity with the rest of the world and will continue to advocate for effective response and recovery for the gendered dimension of COVID 19, leaving no one behind and towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals.” She concluded.

Pursue Leadership Positions At All Levels, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta Encourages Women

Pursue Leadership Positions At All Levels, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta Encourages Women

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has encouraged more women to actively seek elective and other positions of leadership both at national and county levels.

While applauding the current 23 percent representation of women in the National Assembly, the First Lady said more work needed to be done to achieve the constitutionally proposed two-thirds gender rule.

“Let us continue working, together, for the progress we all believe in. And let us begin with ourselves, in our own spaces, in our homes, in our schools and with our children.

“We know that women can bring a difference in leadership by ensuring that the needs and aspirations of women and men, boys and girls are addressed equitably,” the First Lady said as she rooted for enhanced gender equality and women empowerment especially during the COVID-19 era.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta spoke Monday 8th March, 2021 when she presided over virtual celebrations to mark this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) under theme ‘Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world’.

The First Lady pointed out that the theme of this year’s IWD calls for women leadership, saying it is timely and resonates well with the current global situation.

“It highlights the need for us to demand for a level playing field for women and girls irrespective of race, religion or social background,” she said.

The First Lady emphasized the need for women to lend their voice in combating harmful cultural practices that curtail progress even as she expressed satisfaction that a lot of resources are being channelled towards ensuring equity and justice.

“We also, as women, must continue to raise our voices and protect ourselves against harmful practices such as FGM and early child marriage; these factors impede our pathway to reaching our gifted potential,” the First Lady said.

At the global level, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta said the election of the first woman Vice President in the United States of America should serve as an inspiration for women worldwide to aspire for leadership positions.

“Her Excellency Kamala Harris, has done women proud and broken the glass ceiling by going into history books as the 49th Vice President and the first female occupant of the office in the United States,” she said.

During the occasion, the First Lady conferred Annual Trailblazer Awards to several women and institutions in recognition of their outstanding achievements and contribution to advancing the gender equality and women empowerment agenda. She also conferred certificates to graduands of the first cohort of the Women in Political Leadership Training Programme that she launched last year.

Public Service and Gender CS Prof Margaret Kobia said the theme of this year’s IWD illustrates the urgency of putting women empowerment at the core of recovery and bouncing back better in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She noted that while the journey of women in leadership has been long and bumpy, their determination and commitment has yielded fruits.

“Therefore, we celebrate the gains made and also reflect on the social, economic, political and cultural context in which women and girls live and work,” the CS said.

In her address, Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland stressed that gender equality and women empowerment are essential components of human development and basic human rights.

Other speakers included Defence CS Dr Monica Juma, Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization Chairperson Rahab Muiu, European Union Ambassador to Kenya Simon Mordue and UN Resident Co-ordinator Stephen Jackson are among others.

The event also witnessed the national launch of the continental digital platform dubbed ‘the 50 Million African Women Speak’. The project is geared towards empowering millions of women in Africa to start, grow and scale up businesses by providing a one-stop shop.

As published on: The Presidency | The Presidency (president.go.ke)

Ministry Disburses Over Ksh 176 Million to Women and Youth Groups in Nairobi County

Ministry Disburses Over Ksh 176 Million to Women and Youth Groups in Nairobi County

The Ministry of Public Service and Gender through the Affirmative Action Funds namely Uwezo Fund, Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) and Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) today disbursed cheques worth over KES. 176 million to youth and women groups in Nairobi County.

In her address during the handover ceremony held at Charter Hall, in Nairobi, Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon. Rachel Shebesh called on the beneficiaries to make proper use of the funds. Hon. Shebesh urged the youth and women who received the funds to be ambassadors and inform other people from the communities they come from to apply for the low interest loans.

“The President remains committed to the empowerment of youth and women and that’s why we are here today rallying behind this important cause” said Hon. Shebesh.

Nairobi Deputy Governor, H.E Anne Kananu and Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director General Maj. Gen. Mohammed Badi who attended the event echoed the Chief Administrative Secretary’s message and urged the women and youth to take advantage and use of the opportunity provided by the Government to empower themselves.

They committed to work closely with the Affirmative Funds leadership to ensure that youth and women from Nairobi are empowered economically.

Also in attendance was Nairobi Women Representative, Hon. Esther Passaris, Nairobi County Assembly Deputy Speaker Hon. Geoffrey Majiwa, Kibra MP Hon. Imran Okoth, Westlands MP Hon. Tim Wanyonyi, Kamukunji MP Hon. Yusuf Hassan, Roysambu MP Hon. Ndirangu Waihenya and Nairobi County Members of Assembly among other National and County Officials.

By Brian Were

Kuria Professionals urged to take up the role of Ending FGM in the Community

An Association of Professionals from Kuria Community today were challenged to step up and take up the role of Ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in their villages by 2022.

Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon. Rachel Shebesh led a Anti-FGM Multi-Agency committee in a meeting with the Kuria Professionals at Kehancha, Migori County this afternoon.

Hon. Shebesh told the professionals that they were respected members of the community and therefore, they had a duty to play in stopping the outlawed practice of FGM in their region.

“We look forward to hearing good news from the Kuria community in regards to building the economy and improving the livelihoods of the citizens. Today, we need to develop a clear road map and strategies on engaging other stakeholders in the end FGM campaign, ” said Hon. Shebesh.

The Chief Administrative Secretary urged the County Governments in the 22 FGM hotspot Counties to provide safe houses for girls in order to protect them from harmful cultural practices.

Anti FGM Board Chairperson, Agnes Pareiyo called on elders to make the right decisions.

“We are bringing elders on board because they are the heads of the family and they are the ones who can end FGM practice in the community,” she said.

Nominated MP, Hon. Dennitah Ghati said the Kuria Community would support H.E. President, Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to End FGM by 2022 fully and would ensure that he leaves behind a legacy of empowered women and girls.

“We are saying no to a harmful culture that violates the rights of women and girls because we shall continue to practice our culture without FGM.

On his part, Migori County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich said that the Government is not going to tolerate any blame game for the perpetrators of FGM as they will face the full force of the law.

“We are going to arrest the parents whose girls have been subjected to the cut. Every parent must be responsible for their children’s safety,” he said.

He challenged the men to declare an end to FGM in the Kuria Community. “We shall have no more FGM if men stand firm and denounce the practice,” he said.

The Association of Professionals includes teachers, health workers, administrators, lawyers, entrepreneurs, youth and students drawn from the Kuria community.

By Nelly Kosgey

Ministry Launches 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence and Gender Based Violence Recovery Center Guidelines

The Ministry of Public Service and Gender in partnership with development partners and civil society organisations yesterday launched 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence and Gender Based Violence Recovery Center Guidelines at a colourful virtual event.

This year’s event comes at a time when the world is grappling with the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic which has ravaged global economies and has brought with it social, economic, health and psychological effects of unexpected magnitude. Subsequently, cases of GBV against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, have escalated around the world.

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence is a time that is set aside every year to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. This year’s theme is “Orange the World, Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect”.

The event was presided over by Principal Secretary for the State Department for Gender, Prof. Collette Suda who in her opening remarks noted that there had been a 55% increase in GBV cases between March and June when COVID-19 struck however, the figure had reduced by 41% between July and October largely due to advocacy work.

Prof. Suda pointed out the various initiatives that have been undertaken to deal with GBV including the establishment of gender desks in police stations, establishment of toll-free hotlines such as 1195 as well as advocacy campaigns. “The State Department for Gender in partnership with Healthcare Assistance Kenya operates a 24-hour toll-free helpline that supports survivors of GBV to receive online counseling and referrals for medical and legal services,” she said.

The Principal Secretary said the 16 days of activism this year will focus on the five Ps which are prevention of GBV, protection of the survivors, prosecution of perpetrators and partnership in the implementation of programmes around GBV. “No single Government Ministry, Department, Agency, faith based or civil society organization can address GBV in isolation. Therefore, this calls for multi-sectoral and multi-agency interventions to address health, legal, psycho-social, economic and cultural issues. We must focus on the five Ps that guide our work in this area,” she noted.

The UN Country Representative, Ms. Anna Mutavati affirmed that UN Women is committed to providing technical and financial support for Kenya to deliver on its obligations to prevent and respond to GBV but called on more efforts to go beyond financial funding. “We must put in more effort on mobilising every resource available in the communities as opposed to focussing on financial funding to fight GBV,” she stated.

The EU Ambassador to Kenya, Amb. Simon Mordue, who is also the Co-Chair of the Development Partners Group on Gender pledged more support from the EU during the 16 Days of Activism and beyond.

Another highlight of the event was the launch of the Guidelines for the Establishment of Gender Based Violence Recovery Centers (GBVRCs) in Kenya which were developed to standardise the service quality of the centers across the country. The GBVRCs are provided for in Vision 2030 as underscored in the social pillar that prioritises prevention and response to gender based violence and eradication of FGM.

Important days that will be marked during the 16 Days of Activism are the International Day for Persons with disabilities on the 3rd of December, the International Volunteer Day on the 5th of December and the International Human Rights Day on the 10th of December.

#16Days #OrangeTheWorld

By Catherine Kamau and Jacquiline Kirimi


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