Source: Nation

More than 20 women rights organisations in Isiolo, Wajir, Garissa and Marsabit have agreed to work together in ending gender-based violence (GBV).

Led by the Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida-Kenya) the group is coming up with a Northern region movement to champion their rights and address issues affecting women there.

Among the issues they want to address are gender stereotypes and lack of negotiation skills, which bar them from taking up leadership positions.

The group and other stakeholders will undertake a leadership mentorship program for women and girls in remote areas, and plans to review existing legal and policy frameworks for their increased participation.

Valentine Nyaguthii of Pastoralists Gender Initiatives, said they will develop a five-year action plan to guide their operations for realisation of gender equality and total eradication of the vices.

“We want to strengthen women's capacity and participation in the Northern region and ensure their rights are upheld,” said Ms Nyaguthii from Isiolo.

She said the group will work with men towards eradicating Female Genital Mutilation and ensuring they support women seeking leadership positions through the locally used negotiated democracy.

Eradicating FGM

Zulekha Abdikadir from Marsabit said they will come up with joint strategies to continuously monitor and evaluate progress made towards gender equality and dealing with GBV.

“We have seen the need to also involve men in eradicating FGM and we believe their social status will assist in the fight so that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive is achieved by next year,” said Ms Abdikadir.

The group will also mobilise communities’ participation to hold the national and county governments accountable socially, economically and politically.

“The movement will also put the counties to task for improved services and consideration of women, persons living with disabilities and youths, during recruitment and appointment,” Ms Nyaguthii added.

The women spoke during a networking forum organised by Fida-Kenya in Isiolo town last week. It was attended by non-state actors with women, youths and PWDs representation all working to promote human rights and economic empowerment of various groups.

The NGO is implementing a five-year program aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and strengthening women’s leadership.

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