Lobby asks Uhuru to keep ICPD promises
Kenyan women yesterday welcomed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s commitment to promote reproductive health and women rights.
The more than 300 grassroots women allied to the Network of Grassroots Women Organisations, however, cautioned that action, not words, would make a difference.
They challenged the government to shift gear from mere declarations to implementation of its commitments on matters touching on women.
During Tuesday’s official opening of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25), the President said his administration’s priority was to eliminate female genital mutilation by 2022 in addition to eradicating all forms of gender-based violence and harmful practices. He also committed to rising budgetary allocations to sectors that guarantee the advancement of the wellbeing of all Kenyans.
And yesterday, clad in African attire and marching headscarves, women (pictured)gathered at Nairobi’s Jevanjee Gardens and vowed to hold the government to account to ensure the declarations are enforced.
“Our ears are on the ground. It must not just be lip service to please donors. We are telling our President that we hold him accountable for the commitments,” the said.
Ruth Mumbi from the Bunge la Mwananchi, however, said Kenya should not just be a rubber stamp for international and foreign campaigns.
“As grassroots women who bear the huge burden that womenfolk face, we are calling for localisation of the commitments,” she said.
Nicera Wanjiru, from the Young Women Initiative, said it was unfortunate grassroots women have been forgotten in the ongoing discussions at the ICPD.