Garissa Woman Representative Anab Gure has promised to continue prioritizing women and youth empowerment programmes through the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF).
The Fund is one of government initiatives anchored on the Vision 2030 development blue print under the Social Pillar to address the plight of vulnerable groups by reducing poverty and inequality through enhanced access to financial facilities for socio-economic empowerment among women, youth, persons with disabilities, needy children and elderly persons in the country.
The Fund also provides an avenue for promotion of enterprise and value addition initiatives.
Speaking today when she distributed umbrellas to over 50 women traders at the Garissa livestock market to shield them from the vagaries of weather, Gure said that also top on her list of priority was improving girl-child education.
The traders included milk vendors, grocery traders and small-scale shopkeepers who conduct their business in the open-air.
Gure said that the girl child in Northern Kenya has been disadvantaged when it comes to education because of the retrogressive cultural practices among them early marriages and FGM.
“For decades now, the girl child in this region has remained disadvantaged when it comes to education. Families would rather educate the boy child because the girl will eventually be married off and therefore she is of less significance to the family,” Gure said.
The Woman Rep said that although the situation is changing and parents have started realizing the importance of education for both the boy and girls, ‘more needs to be done’.
“I want to affirm my commitment to addressing these pertinent issues affecting our women and the girl child in general in our county. We will empower them to boost their socio-economic wellbeing. This cannot be done overnight but little by little we shall get somewhere,” she added.
Gure thanked the national government for the effort it has put in place to change the narrative by building and equipping more girls’ schools in the region.
She said that as women leaders, they would continue working together to push the agenda of ensuring that more and more girls were not only enrolled but also ensure that there is increased transition from primary to school and beyond.
Gure said that majority of women especially those in the rural setups have no source of income and were among the poorest because they have not been empowered; something she was working hard to correct.
She called on the National Assembly to allocate more funds to women reps from ‘disadvantaged’ counties saying that the current allocation is not enough considering the myriad of challenges women were faced with in these counties.
“The funds we get as women reps might not be enough because of the demand, but I want to give an assurance that I will utilize every coin to improve the living standards of our mothers majority who are bread winners for their families,” she said.
By Jacob Songok