National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) held County Consultative forums for the provision of sessional paper number 3 of 2012 on population policy for national development in Mombasa on Monday.
Cabinet Secretary National Treasury and Planning, Ukur Yatani said in a report released on Monday, titled ‘The State of Kenya Population 2020′ focused on getting to zero harmful practices with a special focus on marriage and motherhood in childhood, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and son preference.’
The statement by the CS read that during the national summit ICPD 25, Kenya made commitment towards accelerating the promise on zero harmful practices and committed to eliminating all forms of gender based violence (GBV), child and forced marriages by 2030.
Yatani said this will be achieved by addressing social and cultural norms that propagate the practice, while providing support to women and girls who have been affected.
“Child marriage has negative outcomes for both boys and girls, but girls are more adversely affected by this practice because in most cases they have to leave school and begin motherhood when they are not mentally and physically ready for motherhood experience,” wrote CS.
He added that their lives may be threatened with diseases and death, resulting from pregnancy and child birth teeming the harmful practice a threat to development prospects because it prevents many girls from achieving their full potential and participating in social and economic activities that can improve their well-being.
Yatani said son prefence is a product of gender biased systems that assign and reinforce higher social status to men and boys and that favor male over female children.
From a human rights perspective, he said gender biased sex selection is a harmful practice because it translates a preference for boys over girls into a deliberate prevention of female births.
“Ending discrimination against women and girls is not only an inalienable human right but the key tosocial progress and economic development of Kenya,” said CS Yatani The CS said GBV and harmful practices such as FGM and child marriage are hindrances to achieving gender equality, adding the sustainable development goals SDGs, especially goal number 5 on gender equality cannot be realized if progress is not made in this area.
He said the propagation of harmful practices stands to prevent Kenya from achieving a demographic dividend and the noble goals set in the Kenya Vision 2030, big 4 agenda, population policy for national development and the ICPD25 Kenya country commitments, among others.
It is therefore imperative that harmful practices be publicized and addressed with a view of ending them.
He expressed optimism saying the report will prove to be a useful resource to all the actors in the population sector involved, in efforts to end all harmful practices, thereby putting the country on track towards the achievement of her development goals and improve the quality of life for all citizenry.
Among the issues discussed in the Mombasa consultative forum, drawing experts from relevant stakeholders discussed and gave their inputs to the Proposed Population Policy, the Population Policy for National Development (PPND) and Key County population issues among others.
By Joseph Kamolo