By Winnie Kabintie
Commonwealth women’s affairs ministers will be convening in Nairobi for a strategy conference, which is aimed at pushing gender equality goals in all 53 member countries.
Prof Margaret Kobia, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender will be chairing the meetings in the conference set for 19 and 20 September.
In line with the theme; “From commitment to action: Accelerating Gender Equality and women’s empowerment for sustainable development,” The conference will among other key issues take stock of the status of gender equality in the Commonwealth in four priority areas; women in leadership, women’s economic empowerment, ending violence against women and girls, and gender and climate change and explore provisions to help increase women’s access to leadership, free quality education, boost family planning and health services and also tackle avenues for legal protection from violence.
The discussions will also address sexual and reproductive health rights and anti-discriminatory laws in the economic sector, which continue to hamper the progress of women.
According to Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland, the recommendations and decisions made by ministers at the meeting in Nairobi will help to shape innovative Commonwealth approaches to accelerate gender equality.
“The meeting is an immensely valuable opportunity for our member countries collectively to monitor and evaluate progress towards achieving Commonwealth priorities on gender equality and attainments under Sustainable Development Goal 5 and related national or regional commitments,” she said.
Professor Kobia also expressed optimism that the 12th Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting (WAMM 2019) will provide a platform to forge common positions for accelerating gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
“This meeting provides a platform to strategize on emerging gender issues by examining critical areas that still require further attention; share experiences and lessons learned, and forge common positions for accelerating gender equality and empowerment of women and girls,” she said.
SDG 5 – Gender Equality
Gender Equality is one of the 17 global goals (Sustainable development goal 5) and the aim is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030.
The commonwealth women’s affairs meeting is held every three years since 1985, and Kenya was host to the first-ever meeting (1985).