Women4Women: Collectively Advancing the Rights, Agency and Choices for Women in Kenya

Exactly one day before the end of this years’ 16 days of activism and on the eve of International Human Rights Day- 10th December, the Kenya Women Medical Association (KWMA), Kenya Women Judges Association (KWJA) with the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) established a #Women4Women(W4W) advocacy and accountability platform to undertake strategic interventions to empower right holders and its key duty bearers focused on delivering results and improvement in the health and well-being of women and girls in Kenya.

 

The meeting that took place on 9th Dec 2017 in Naivasha was aimed at providing strategic direction and key actions for the platform for the upcoming year-2018; obtaining support of key women groups in Kenya as well as establishing a network of Development Partners that will participate in the network. Most importantly, the meeting purposed to arrive at a shared vision, common understanding and a consensus on priority issues for the platform vis a vis the expected results of engagement.

 

Speaking about the workshop, Dr. Ademola Olajide UNFPA Representative to Kenya said that the consultative workshop will give participants a platform to actively intervene and interrogate issues facing women and girls in Kenya whilst deepening the dialogue with the aim of evolving practical results oriented action all aimed at promotion of the well-being of women and children in Kenya.

 

The platform is at the moment actively engaging critical stakeholders whose mandate to mitigate violence against women and girls is key. Unsystematic process of information sharing and dissemination, lack/delayed access to justice, lack of awareness stood out as top challenges that impede the quest to end all forms of violence against women and girls, realize sexual and reproductive health and rights and overall advancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

 

Women4Women platform seeks to contribute to improving health and wellbeing of women and girls through; policy development, advocacy, access to justice and strengthened multi-stakeholder coordination.

 

In addition, the women for women platform will empower right holders with information about the status of health and well-being of women and girls in Kenya, in doing so, promote social accountability especially for individuals, institutions and county governments responsible.. The platform will also focus on building capacity to increase access to justice, social and health services especially for the vulnerable and marginalized women and girls including people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).

 

Our contribution, perspective and role as FEMNET

Young women who affiliate with FEMNET (African Women’s Development and Communication Network) as members were part of those who attended the consultative meeting. Having been empowered and equipped to drive change at all levels of the society in Africa, we see our engagement and partnership on the #Women4Women platform as pivotal. This is especially because young women voices will infuse with that of other strategic partners on the platform to better bolster for change in their respective areas of work and ensure that interventions for adolescent girls and young women formulated and implemented through the platform are done through meaningful engagement and contribution. A key indicator of the well being of women and girls is their level of SRHR, whose advancement is key in embodying the spirit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) to ensure that no one is left behind and that those furthest behind are reached first in the achievement of gender equality and empowerment for women and girls of all ages.

 

We affirm the platform as opportune and timely at a fraught political moment and backdrop characterized by shrinking civic space, regression on human rights and wide spread pushback on gender equality and women’s rights. This is seen with the enforcement of policies such as the Trump’s Global Gag Rule that risk to erode the precarious gains on women and girls reproductive, maternal, child, newborn and adolescent health through reduced funding. The platform provides an opportunity for concerted efforts, collective impact and reinforced voice on the need to revive political will, bold action, concerted efforts and investment alive towards covering the last mile and accelerating progress for women and girls and realization of rights for all.

 

To catch up with the vibrant social media momentum that approximately hit over 9million impressions with the hashtag trending all day, find link to the storify

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