The University of Nairobi Students Association Mombasa Campus held a conversation on Gender Empowerment and Mainstreaming at Swahilipot Hub in Mombasa County to strengthen the legitimacy of gender equality values by addressing known gender disparities in decision-making.
The event was graced by Youth and Climate Change Action Champion Ms. Charlene Ruto who lauded men for joining discussions on gender empowerment and mainstreaming.
She stated that discussion around gender empowerment and achieving equality has become divisive such that people fail to look at all issues objectively. “It is good to remember gender equality is not only a human fundamental right but also an essential foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world,” she noted.
Empowerment of the youth, Ruto said is the solution to bridge gender inequality. “As we seek gender empowerment our actions must continuously aim at building and not destroying, we must encourage more than we discourage,” she said.
Ruto also noted that the youth of Kenya are not less talented than youths of other countries nations, if mentored well they can make Kenya shine globally. “We can only create a better world for all of us by harnessing the biggest treasure we have, the youth,” she said.
SwahiliPot Hub Chief Mentor Mahmoud Noor said that the empowerment of the youth and their participation in decisions will enable them to be effective agents of change and innovation.
He said that gender mainstreaming and gender equality programmes are not mutually exclusive and to achieve gender equality a twin-track approach is necessary.
Noor elucidated that gender empowerment is not only for women but all and sundry have a responsibility to challenge the traditions and customs that support and maintain gender inequalities.
During a panel discussion, Gulf African Bank Coast Regional Manager Ms. Shamsa Awadh said it is vital to tap into the youth’s potential by ensuring that their talents don’t go to waste.
“A world of empowered youth will ensure that young people are not job seekers but entrepreneurs who create employment for themselves and their generation,” she said adding that youths are the fulcrum of development.
By Asia Salat and Shamim Musa