Kenya: EU supports new push for more women politicians in Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - European ambassadors accredited to Kenya on Wednesday met the country's Minister for Youth and Gender, Sicily Kariuki, to discuss ways of increasing the participation of women in politics.

"We believe providing women with equal access to education, health-care, decent work and political representation is vital – everywhere in the world – to the full development of inclusive societies as well as of successful and sustainable economies," the EU Delegation to Kenya, said in a statement.

"Investing in and empowering youth is also vital, especially for countries as youthful as Kenya is, to effectively seize the full potential of its demographic dividend."

The EU envoy to Kenya and other European ambassadors met with the Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Youth and Gender to discuss a new initiative, the EU/Kenya Political Dialogue, focused on gender and youth policies.

"As close partners, Kenya and the European Union are committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and attach the greatest value to the critical roles that youth and women can play as agents of progress and change," the EU said.

The EU and the Kenyan minister discussed how to support Kenya's efforts to strengthen women's rights and their economic empowerment and independence and help secure the future of young people in the country.

EU officials called on the Kenyan government to work progressively towards meeting the country's two-thirds gender rule in all public appointments and in all public offices filled through elections.

The diplomats regretted that women and girls continued to face discrimination and violence and were mostly under-represented in decision-making processes.

"Both in Kenya and in the European Union, a wide range of actions by stakeholders – governments, civil society and businesses – are aimed at achieving gender balance in leadership positions," the statement said.

In Kenya, needs for a fairer gender balance, gender equality and effective women empowerment are recognised and enshrined in the Constitution.

EU diplomatic missions resolved to continue supporting the Kenyan Government’s efforts to meet the constitutional requirement of the two-thirds gender rule.

"We are committed to promoting gender equality and tackling gender based violence. Like Kenya, we believe gender equality and women’s empowerment should be at the heart of all our development efforts," the statement affirmed.

Kenya is planning to host the Second High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, to champion the issue of women’s and youth economic empowerment.

The diplomats noted that actions were increasingly being implemented in Europe and Africa to create more equitable opportunities for young people in education, vocational training, access to the labour market while also promoting the active citizenship and full social inclusion of women.

-0- PANA AO/AR 28Sept2016

28 september 2016 18:32:58

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