Kirinyaga Women Representative Purity Wangui Ngirici has moved to reassure the world of Kenyan government’s commitment to promoting women empowerment and gender equality.
In what may be seen as a message of hope to Kenyan women, Ngirici said, in her speech at the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York, that several measures have been put in place to ensure the country realises 50-50 gender balance by the year 2030.
“We recognize the importance of the Commission on the Status of Women as a crucial platform for advancing gender equality and empowerment of women and girls through the implementation of decisions reached annually by member states.
“I wish to reaffirm Kenya’s commitment to gender equality and women empowerment that is premised on our genuine conviction that empowering women is key to the development of our nation,” she said.
The Kirinyaga MP, who is also the chairperson of Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOPA), outlined steps that the government had taken to ensure the realisation of gender equality in legislative and policy areas.
“Kenya’s measures on strengthening the normative, legal and policy framework for gender responsive implementation of the 2030 Agenda therefore are founded on our Constitution which contains a comprehensive Bill of Rights that guarantees all Kenyans their economic, social, and cultural rights.
“It is explicit in obligating the State to provide appropriate social security to persons who are unable to support themselves and their dependents. This right is closely linked to other social protection rights, including the right to healthcare, human dignity, reasonable working conditions, and access to justice.”
She also remarked that the government had boosted investments for financing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls as guided by Kenya Vision 2030 and the 5-year medium-term plans.
“In the current third Medium Term Plan (2018-2022), major projects emphasize promotion of gender equality in the following programmes; Women Enterprise Fund, UWEZO Fund, National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF), Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO), Prevention and Response to Gender-Based Violence, Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Gender Mainstreaming and Sanitary Towels Program.”
“The Government has also unveiled the Big Four Agenda which among other things focuses on large scale commercial farming, 100% cost subsidy on essential health services, provision of affordable housing and boosting manufacturing activities from 9.2% to 20% of gross domestic product (GDP).”
She further re-affirmed the country’s commitment to the attainment of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls through inclusive and strategic partnerships nationally, regionally and globally.
Wangui Ngirici has been at the forefront in pushing for the passing of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2018 which will allow the realisation of Two Third gender rule in Parliament.