Kenya: UN Chief joins International Women Day celebrations in Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres joined celebrations to mark the International Women’s Day on Wednesday, with a call for the empowerment of women to achieve greater progress economically, socially and politically, PANA reported.

The UN Secretary-General joined a public celebration of the event at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi and later joined victims of drought and climate change and women aspirants of political seats at a slum in Nairobi, to discuss women empowerment.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta listed the strides the country has achieved towards gender parity in a speech read for him by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta during the event.

The president reaffirmed the government’s zero-tolerance to violence and discrimination against women and girls.

Kenyan officials said the presence of the UN Chief during the celebrations as a special guest symbolically underlined the pole position the global body places on women in the world.

The Women’s Day is marked every year to celebrate the gains made towards women empowerment and to track challenges while making renewed commitments toward gender parity.

President Kenyatta said no country could claim to be modern and progressive unless it recognizes the importance of gender equality.

“Let me underscore that gender empowerment is important to any society that considers itself modern and progressive. But equally and more fundamental is the need to ensure the protection of the rights of women and girls,” the President said.

The celebrations in Nairobi were attended by the African Union (AU) Commissioner for Social Affairs Mustapha Kaloko and hundreds of women from all walks of life.

President Kenyatta said Kenya takes pride in the many achievements the country has made by investing in priority intervention that are of great benefit to its women.

He cited the Compulsory and Free Education programme that benefits both boys and girls and  the progress in women’s health as evidenced by the Free Maternity Health services as some of the key gains towards gender parity.

The president said the government will continue addressing structural barriers that hinder women’s advancement, recognize and act on women’s unpaid care burden and invest in their reproductive health services.
-0- PANA AO/VAO 8March2017

08 march 2017 18:58:03

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