As one way of addressing Gender Based Violence in society, the International Solidarity Foundation [ISF] has launched Muungano Gender forum which will bring together scholars , Abagusii Council of elders, law makers and implementers ,civil society activities, Government institutions ,students and the public aiming at increasing knowledge and effectiveness of ending GBV.
Speaking at Dans hotel in Kisii on Wednesday during the official launch of the Muungano Gender forum, Joel Machuka who is the Advocacy Officer International Solidarity Foundation said that Kisii and Nyamira counties women and girls face critical challenges and hardship mainly due to persisting cultural practices and social norms.
According to Mr. Machuka, this norms have promoted the male dominance which has really affected women. He added that the major challenges which are facing the women include Female Genital Mutilation and early marriage ,low representative of women in decision making, unrecognized of unpaid work, limit rights to own and economic resource and high mortality Rate.
“After realizing that women are facing many challenges in the society, our main objective is to bring both the state and non state actors to discus and share information on progress, key issues and challenges in relation to gender inequality in a wide range of sectors,” said Machuka
He added that more importantly and collectively they will identify actions, strategy and investment to accelerate the attainment of gender equality and women empowerment in Kisii and Nyamira through the set structure of steering committee.
Dr.Callen Nyamwange Director Institute of gender Kisii University said that women should be given equal opportunity as men and have them in the Legislative representative in the country with or without constitutional Representative.
“Gender Equality and Empowerment is so crucial, it’s so worrying that Kenya is ranked poorly and remains amongst the lowest in the whole world , hope through this forum we are going to address this challenges and have permanent solution” said Dr. Nyamwange.
She added that Gender refers to cultural constructs of men and women whereby societal constructs have placed women in the Kitchen whether elected, have gone to school or not for the sake of the society.
“It’s high time we can recognize that each gender can do as much as the other, all rights to human are also women rights” she said.
Present during the launch were Kisii county executive member for Youths, sports and Gender Duke Mainga who said that there is Teenage marriage in the county according to statistics more so in Bomachoge Borabu Constituency which needs to be addressed.
He also said that the county together with other organization are working against gender based violence with focus in south Mugirango which in the past has recorded more GBV cases.
Representing CEC Nyamira county David Nyachoti who is the Director Culture, youth and social services said that the county has embarked on gender responsive budgeting.
At the same time he called upon the victims to avoid stigma and report any violence cases for necessary steps to be taken.
“In many cases some people have feared to report GBV cases since they are being victimized, to avoid stigma we call upon victims to report any cases once they happen” Machuka said.
Kevin Ombori Director Culture Kisii county government said that most families are going through land disputes.
He added through this forums such issues can be addressed.
After the launch there will be monthly consultative meeting forums in every evening of every last of Wednesday of every month at Dans hotel .