As we celebrated this years International Women’s Day, CWID counts Progress for all we deliberate on what we have managed to achieve as Kenyan women, eventhough we still experience the challenges. The Organization is on the forefront to put strategies and advocate on what we need to do more to ensure gender equity in all sectors. Equal employment and education opportunities, as well as putting measures to fight violence against women are still the top three issues that the government has failed to address to ensure gender parity. The national launch was brought down to Coast, at the Mombasa Stadium where women had celebrated as they had a chance to meet most of their women leaders. It was joy for the event to take place here where matters of sexual gender based violence are still on the rise and a home where women are still chained by culture. Issues of economic empowerment to women carries the day as the women leaders tasked the banks financing women’s loans to reduce the interest percentage as well as simplify the loan forms since women at the rural areas who are illiterate find it difficult to make proper applications thus denying them the chance to access the loans.
MEN ON THE MOVE IN FIGHTING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. It is encouraging to watch quite a number of men organizations coming up to fight the violence against women, men have been known to be the perpetrators of violence against women and having men who can advocate to their fellow men and discourage them against violating the rights of women and girls is a very big step for the SGBV/GBV fraternity. 3 The change women are craving for can only be realized if the perpetrators are fully involved as the instruments of change. Most men do not want to be viewed as the weaker sex and would do anything to appear superior. By a show of hands, men out to fight SGBV/GBV. Even with the educated women on board, men still want to be the decision makers, they still want to be the heads in all the decision making tables, be it in their homes or anywhere else where women are fighting for positions. It is sad to note that in most cases women suffer in the hands of men, men always need their ego to be stroked and any attempt to defy this is met with brutality One of the most effective ways to involve men in fighting GBV is the need to give men positions in campaigns and events on ending GBV.
WOMEN LEADERSHIP IN KENYA. Even with the awareness creation that has gone around the globe on women involvement in leadership, some regions in the rural areas of Kenya still find it hard to embrace women leaders in their communities. The recent appointment of the first woman ever to be appointed as assistant chief for Meri Location in Wajir South District six months ago has been met with less support and much criticism. Mrs Siraj’s main hurdle is the resistance by the elders as their culture and religion to accept a woman to sit on the leadership positions. Being a Muslim where she is supposed to be covered up in their veils (buibui), religious leaders find it unusual since she has to be dressed up in her official uniform. 2 Mrs. Amina Siraj Some of her community members appraise her though, they are excited about what a woman leader has to offer, they even push for her to talk in public forums and she is always optimistic to encourage them that together they can bring change in their region. Most of them pat her on the back and encourage her to stand firm on her work. Her appointment has encouraged women in their region to vie for the local leadership positions, though Mrs. Siraj was the only applicant in the post she vied for, she hopes to climb the ladder to the post of higher. In as much as women in the Meri community are still plagued by oppressive cultural and religious norms, Mrs. Siraj has an enormous duty to hearten other women to rise up and let their voices be heard. CWID feels that the move to appoint her in the local administration is a platform for the government to appointment more women in different positions from other regions where women are still servile to men.
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