Launching the Programme, Lisa Phillips, Head of DFID in Kenya called for a multisectoral approach to end violence against women and girls. “ We will only reverse the grim statistics if we proactively work together with the government through the National Gender Equality Commission, Anti- FGM Board and other state agencies, donors and NGOs like ActionAid to create awareness, put in proper legislation and follow through to full implementation”. She observed.
Donatella Fregonese , the Global Programme Lead, pointed to the urgent need to address widespread violence against women and girls in cities and urban spaces across the globe. A pilot project by AAIK revealed that the constant threat of sexual violence and lack of police presence in informal settlements mean that many women are too scared to leave their homes to use communal sanitation facilities.
Hon. Linah Kilimo from the Anti FGM board called upon participants to work together to eliminate the practice of FGM. She retaliated the commitment of the Anti-FGM board to eliminate FGM in this generation.
Commissioner Florence Nyokabi from the National Gender Equality Commission emphasized the need to operationalize the no 2/3rd one gender rule as enshrined in the constitution of the Republic of Kenya.
Speaking at the launch, Bijay Kumar, Executive Director, AAIK emphasized ActionAid’s commitment to unapologetically take sides with women living in poverty and exclusion. “We must prioritize security for women and girls in order to guarantee them access to better healthcare, education and livelihood opportunities, this will only be achievable through training, awareness raising and effective policy legislation and its effective implementation”. He noted.
The launch was attended by donors (DFID, DANIDA, DFAT), corporate partners (Ericsson Kenya and Safaricom Foundation), The National Gender Equality Commission, Anti FGM board, UN agencies (UNFPA, UN Women), Civil society groups (WEL,CRAWN, WANGU KANJA FOUNDATION, SAUTI YA WANAWAKE) and ActionAid colleagues involved in this project from across the four countries.