Nakuru, Kenya Friday, 10 May 2019 – The Directorate of Gender and Culture has reaffirmed its collaboration with the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) in promoting programs for gender equality and non-discrimination in Nakuru County.
This reassurance was made when NGEC Commission Secretary Betty Nyabuto and a number of her staff paid a courtesy call to Tume Abduba, the Nakuru County Chief Officer for Gender, Culture and Social Services at her offices in the Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Office Block on Friday.
The Chief Officer appreciated the National Gender and Equality Commission for being one of the most valued partners that the county directorate responsible for gender works with to actualize its mandate which is to promote gender equality, women and girl’s empowerment.
County GBV Technical Working Group
‘We have a County GBV Technical Working Group made up of both state and non-state actors whose main mandate is prevention and response to sexual and gender based violence in the county through activities such as linkages, referrals and follow up of cases: activities which NGEC is intricately involved in’, said Tume.
Adding that already, with the help of NGEC and other partners, the County GBV Technical Working group has been cascaded down to the sub-counties in form of clusters, with nine clusters having already been formed in Naivasha, Gilgil, Nakuru Town east, Nakuru Town west, Njoro, Molo, Kuresoi north, Kuresoi south and Bahati.
Gender Directorate Core Programs
The Director of Gender and Culture Alice Gekonde and her Deputy Selina Nkatha highlighted the following as the main programs of the department: women economic empowerment, fostering of women in leadership and participation in decision making, sexual and reproduction health as well as response to prevention and response to sexual and gender based violence.
They also noted that the Directorate with the support of partners has conducted a county gender audit which is being used as a baseline in the drafting of the county policy and is in the process of building a gender based violence rescue centre at Gilgil Sub-County Hospital.
The Directorate is currently in the process of drafting a county gender policy, already having formed a technical working group to undertake this; working with the assembly to revive the gender bill which had previously gone as far as the second reading.
There are also upcoming programs that are targeted at raising awareness on what gender issues entail and their effects on the society. Village loaning and saving program aimed at empowering both women and men.
Re-greening of Nakuru County with the involvement of at least one women group per ward. Saving the boy child through crime intervention programs in low income settlement areas in Biashara, Flamingo, Kivumbini and Nakuru East Wards.
The Directorate is also seeking a partnership with Egerton University’s Institute of Women, Gender and Development studies mainly for gender appraisals to inform policies and programs.
On her part, National Gender and Equality Commission Secretary Betty Nyabuto assured the County Officers that her commission is ready to give it assistance to the county gender directorate to ensures it does gender mainstreaming across the board.
‘Nakuru being one of the five counties where NGEC has a regional office, we are willing to ensure that the regional office plugs in with the County Directorate of Gender, providing technical support for gender responsive planning and budgeting’, said Betty.
Areas of Collaboration
The commission is also in a position to provide guidance on conceptualization, drafting and implementation of laws and policies that enhance equality and non-discrimination on gender and women; youth and children; people living with disabilities (PwDs); marginalized and minority.
The secretary noted that based on this, NGEC well positioned to help the department in the drafting of the county gender policy, capacity building for the Sub-County GBV Clusters, and execution of Boy-Child-focused programs having done a Rapid Assessment of Boy Child in Kenya. Some of the recommendations in this study have been made to County Governments.
The Deputy Director Directorate of Gender assured the meeting that NGEC –Nakuru Regional Office is among the five stakeholders in the policy drafting taskforce and is also undertaking a program focused on uplifting the welfare of the boy child.
The Commission Secretary Betty Nyabuto handed over the Legislative Handbook on Principles of Equality and Non-Discrimination to the County Chief Officer responsible for Gender Tume Abduba who in turn handed over some Information, Communication and Education Materials to the commission’s secretary.
During the courtesy call, the NGEC Secretary was flanked by Director of Programmes and Research Paul Kuria among other staff from headquarters and Nakuru Regional Office.