Taita Taveta, yesterday, became the second county to launch the Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) policy after Meru County.
The policy, which is a trickle-down commitment by the national government to cushion women, men, and girls from the effects of gender bias and violence, comes in force at perfect timing as Kenya joins the rest of the world to fight gender-related vices.
The policy was unanimously passed by the Taita Taveta County Assembly and was closely followed by the formation of a multi-sectoral task force that drew membership from the national and county governments, civil society, law enforcement agencies, and the education sector.
Present during the launch was Wallace Mwaluma, the county’s Director Youth, Sports, Gender, Culture and Social Services, who praised the launch as a pivotal step toward creating an equal and enabling environment for all genders.
“It’s a bright day for us as a county and a country because this policy will go a long way to create an even and fair playing ground for all genders to thrive and prosper in their social, economic, and political endeavors,” stated Mr Mwaluma.
The SGBV policy is anchored in article 10 of the 2010 constitution of Kenya, which angles for gender equality, equity, inclusiveness, and discrimination-free environment as collective national values and principles of governance.
Data from the 2014 Kenya Demographic Health Survey indicate that 45 per cent of girls and women in Kenya aged 15-49 years have a single or multiple encounters with either physical or sexual violence.
The national government has gradually increased budgetary allocations to counties in the areas of gender empowerment, women, and girls’ affairs at the grassroots.
To mitigate the problem of potential disconnections, the national government has also put in place frameworks to strengthen effective prevention, response, and management of SGBV.
For the full implementation of the policy, counties have been urged to set aside 5 per cent of their particular fiscal budgets to end gender bias, violence, and at the same time create equal opportunities for men and women in all economic and social tiers.
By Arnold Linga Masila