Makueni County Government in collaboration with International Development Law Organisation (IDLO) have launched Gender and Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) policies aimed at combating cases emanating from the vices.
The policies were unveiled by the Makueni County Deputy Governor (DG) Lucy Mulili and the IDLO Monitoring and Evaluation officer Jonah Rotich at a hotel in Wote town on Friday where several stakeholders from government and non-governmental organisations were in attendance.
The main objective of the gender policy is to promote and implement gender responsive poverty education initiatives which are aimed at ensuring women are empowered to make them have a say in decision making in matters of education, health and politics.
In the policy, the government is expected to work closely with other stakeholders to increase and strengthen access to credit opportunities for women and all special interest groups through affirmative action initiatives.
During the forum, some of the stakeholders who spoke during the event, pointed out that alcohol, poverty and drug and substance abuse were the main factors contributing to SGBV cases in the area.
Also the main objective of SGBV is to formulate responsive strategies aimed at increasing access to quality and comprehensive response and support services across sectors, facilitate and establishment and strengthening of existing safe spaces and improving accountability.
They intend to work with stakeholders and ensure there is budgetary allocation to support treatment of SGBV survivors who are unable to afford medical treatment and also establish a focal point at every sub-county hospitals including the Referral Centre at the Level 5 Hospital.
On her part, the Deputy Governor urged elected and opinion leaders and the church to speak out against the vices which she said were impacting negatively on the girl child and women in the county.
Mulili disclosed that many women were being affected by emotional abuse besides physical violence and challenged them to come out and speak of the atrocities they are experiencing so that this can bring about awareness to the community.
“Leaders need to talk about these vices, the more we talk about it, many people will be assisted to open up and say the violence they are experiencing. This will create awareness among the residents,” she said.
Further the DG challenged women to come out and vie for political positions as it is their right and added that she will use her position to ensure many women were involved in decision making in the county.
In another development, Mulili lamented that women were being chased away from their homes especially after their husbands have died hence the need to end heinous acts that were rampant in the county.
Addressing the same event, Mr Rotich said his organisation will capacity build staff of the county while adding that they are the ones who funded and ensured the policies to combat SGBV were realised.
By Patrick Nyakundi