The European Union (EU) including Spain have pledged to
continue partnering with Kenya through the Ministry of Public Service, Youth
and Gender to upscale the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV).
The Ambassadors of Spain and the EU in the country H.Es Javier Garcia de Viedma and Stefano-Antonio respectively, were speaking during the launch of Kenya-EU-Spain Learning Seminar on the Criminal Justice System on Gender Based Violence at a Nairobi hotel on Thursday.
The seminar which was presided over by the Chief Justice Hon. David Maraga and also addressed by the Cabinet Secretary Prof. Margaret Kobia, seeks to share experience and harmonize efforts at combating Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Justice Maraga elaborated reforms being put in place by the Judiciary to fast track gender based violence cases besides calling for public sensitization on the need to collaborate with Organs charged with combating the vice.
In her remarks, CS Prof Kobia appreciated the support of the Embassy of Spain in collaboration with European Union Delegation in Kenya stating, “It provides an opportunity for criminal justice system peers and anti-GBV Stakeholders from Kenya and Spain to share and cross-learn best practices in prevention, processing, prosecution and adjudication of GBV and human trafficking crimes.
Noting that fighting Gender Based Violence remains one of the pillars in promoting Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (SDG 5), Prof Kobia cited the Government interventions which include development of policies, capacity building, establishment of Gender Based Violence recovery/safe centres and a hot line.
On her part, distinguished Spanish Judge Ms. Zita Harnandez shared her country’s experience in fighting the vice and elaborated measures being implemented include providing victims of abuse with six months’ unconditional unemployment benefit to give them a new start
She added that the State has pursued successive programmes to combat GBV cases including actualizing national policy, legal besides recognizing that violence against women was a public matter.
The two-day event brought together duty bearers in the Criminal Justice System from Kenya and Spain including the Judiciary, office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Police Service among others to establish strong bilateral networks and forge exchange programs amongst themselves in the fight against GBV and human trafficking.
Moderators of the Seminar were the State Department of Gender Principal Secretary Ms. Safina Kwekwe and Secretary Gender Faith Kasiva.
Others in attendance were Lady Justice Hannah Okwengu, Chairperson, Kenya Women Judges Association (KWJA) Dr. Ruth Kagia, Deputy Chief of Staff Policy and Strategy and senior government officials.