State to launch research on plight of men

Friday, November 20th, 2020 00:00 |
Public Service and Gender CS Margaret Kobia.

Bernard Gitau @benagitau

The government will undertake a study on the plight of  Kenyan men  to inform the formulation of programmes that specifically target them, Public Service and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Prof Margaret Kobia has said.

 Kobia made the announcement yesterday during  the International Men’s Day.

“Today we appreciate men and the contribution they make in our society.  We also reflect on some of the challenges  they  face such as mental health, shorter life expectancy and domestic violence,” said Kobia.

In a statement, Kobia said the study would be conducted through the State Department for Gender and in the current Strategic Plan (2017-2022).

 “I call on men from all corners to rise up and play their rightful roles in society; to be the pillars of the family, to foster gender equality, to be role models to the younger generation and to ensure peace in the family and the society at large,” said Kobia.

 Prof Kobia at the same time expressed concern on the alarming increase in suicide rate among men.

 In Kenya,  World Health Organisation (WHO) data estimates that 1,408 people commit suicide yearly, or simply put, four deaths daily, higher than what the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) reported for 2017; 421 deaths.

 Out of the 421 suicide cases in Kenya in 2017 reported by KNBS, 330 involved men while only 91 were women.

 According to WHO, about 800,000 people die from suicide annually (that is one person every 40 seconds), majority of them aged between15 and 29.

 For the next seven minutes, 11 people would have committed or attempted to commit suicide around the globe.

Life expectancy

 Official numbers on suicide in Kenya, according to various organisations, may be difficult to get due to apparent under-reporting or misreporting of such deaths, in part because there are penalties in Kenyan law for attempting suicide, as well as higher levels of stigmatisation.

 According to the United Nation Development Programme dubbed Human Development 2019, women in Kenya are more likely to live more than men.

Report revealed that women are likely to live four years more than men.

 “Women in Kenya life expectancy is at 68.7 years compared to 64 years for men,” the reportted. Overall, the life expectancy at birth in Kenya stands at 66.3 years.

 Commenting on the CS post, a Mr  Doughlas Mwendah took the opportunity to thank Prof Kobia for remembering men who he claimed had been forgotten at the expense of women. 

“At least leo umekumbuka men also fall under your State department,” Mwendah said.

 On a lighter note, men expressed reservations where their day coincided with World Toilets Day, with others claiming the latter carried their day at their expense.

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