The Star (Nairobi)

17 May 2013

Kenya: MPs Asks Uhuru Not to Scrap Gender Ministry

WOMEN MPs have asked President Uhuru to reconsider his decision of scraping the Ministry of Gender.

Kenya Women Parliamentary Association has said changing the Gender ministry into a department will undermine issues touching on women.

"There is need to retain the ministry because eliminating will be for our gender war," Kewopa chairperson Cecily Mbarire said.

Mbarire was speaking during a stakeholders forum on dissemination and planning for implementation of outcomes of the 57th session of the commission on the status of women.

She called on all women to support the push for a Gender ministry.

In the new cabinet structure, there is no specific ministry which in charge of gender. All ministries are expected to have a gender unit.

The women asked the government to empower women economically to help fight gender-based violence.

Mbarire said violence against women and girls has socio-economic cost implications.

"The budget circular must have a specific goal on gender equality and gender sensitive indicators in all sectors as this is a cross-cutting issue," she said.

Mbarire said legal and policy frameworks must be implemented, prevention measures developed, services and responses established and evidence based to inform policies and programmes strengthened so as to create an environment for women and girls to exercise their rights and live free of violence.

She said Kewopa will lobby for the enactment of the family bills including Family Protection Bill, Marriage Bill, Domestic Violence Bill and Matrimonial Property Bill in its first year of the 11th Parliament.

Mbarire said a strategic partnership with political groups, civil society and other public and private organisations and institutions should be forged to address the root causes of violence against women.

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