Kilifi County government has been awarded being among the top three best counties for exemplary services and promoting equality and inclusion of special interest groups(SIG) including women in the country by the National Gender Equality Commission (NGEC).

With this year’s International Women’s day theme ‘Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’ Kilifi county has gone against odds of being in the limelight with gender issues like early teenage pregnancies.

Speaking during the commemoration of International Women’s day at Karisa Maitha grounds in Kilifi, the county governor Amason Kingi informed that out of ten County Executive Committee Members(CEC)in the devolution government of Kilifi five are female while the remaining five are male.

“Most people only say they care about women. Kilifi county government is not only saying but acting as well on gender issues. Women are life-givers thus as Kilifi County we have prioritized women in the devolution government. Half the number of ministers in the county are women,” Kingi said.

He added that the top Human Resource person of the county devolution government is also a female, clarifying that the county is so keen on considering gender equality.

Kingi however cautioned the individuals dragging the county behind undermining the female gender including molestation and gender-based violence.

“It is disappointing to find girls as young as 11 years old who have been molested in the rescue center here in Kilifi. Worst of all, you find that the perpetrators are their relatives. The girls’ dreams of excelling in the future end up shuttered just because of other people’s malice,” he added.

He said the County is putting much effort to ensure gender equality and thus urged the residents to cooperate.

Speaking in Kilifi during the event, NGEC Chief Executive Officer Betty Sungura Nyabuto lauded Kilifi county and the government at large for the exemplary efforts in ensuring that individuals from special interest groups are cared for.

She recognized the fact that women are the most affected when disasters occur and thus expressed the need for women to be prioritized.

She said Kenya has made significant progress in presenting women and girls with opportunities to sustainably deal with the effects of climate change from 2015 to 2021.

“In 2016, Kenya enacted the climate change laws which among others require the county and national government to mainstream gender equality. During this conference, county government committed to designing and implementing climate change policies and strategies that place women and girls and vulnerable groups at the center of formulating solutions to climate change,” Nyabuto said.

She urged Kenyans to endeavor in breaking the bias against women, especially during this electioneering period.

She acknowledged that NGEC has the responsibility to ensure gender equality and inclusion, especially in special interest groups thus vowed that the commission will continue to advocate for full inclusion of women and other SIG in climate change decisions, programs, and actions for sustainable future.

Kilifi County Executive Committee member for gender Dr.Anisa Omar said that early teenage pregnancies in Kilifi County have reduced from 29% in 2018 to 14% in 2022.

Speaking during the event, the county director of the national gender department Georgina Dhulu said the department for Gender and social affairs has committed to ending GBV by 2026.

She said the gender department has already kicked off the measures to ensure a balanced gender with no discrimination.

Kilifi is one of the counties that has been hit hard by climate change effects with women falling the most victims in the last 2 years.

By Treeza Auma

Treeza Auma is a Digital Content Producer and founder of https://www.ktmn.co.ke KTMN She is also Television journalist at Kenya News Agency and Leadership Accelerator at Women in News.

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