A national level Research and Documentation Centre on Women, Gender and Peace-building was launched on 21st June 2013 at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. Its aim is to promote essential research for policy-making on gender equality and women’s rights’ issues in Kenya. The Centre is a result of collaboration between UNESCO, the University of Nairobi and the (former) Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development. The presence of representatives from the UN, Ministry of Planning and Devolution, National Gender Equality Commission and key universities showed commitment towards this initiative in Kenya.
While speaking at the occasion, Mr. Protus Onyango representing the Cabinet Secretary – Ministry of Devolution and Planning remarked, “The Government under Vision 2030 recognizes the collection of sex disaggregated data as an important activity of measuring the objectives of flagship projects under the social pillar. The Centre will therefore play a key role in providing evidence based research”.
The Resource Centre has been established with the financial support of the Government of Norway through the UN-GoK Joint Programme on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. A three-party Memorandum of Understanding was signed by UNESCO, the University of Nairobi and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development on 21 January 2013 to take this initiative forward. The Centre is located in the main library at the University of Nairobi and provides easy access to scholars, researchers and other stakeholders on information related to gender and peacekeeping. The Centre currently has 75,000 e-journals and 163 e-books on the issue in its digital library that can be accessed through the four computer stations present in the facility. Resource material in hard copies is gradually being added to the Centre with donations from UN agencies and other partners. It will provide a platform for all relevant stakeholders to exchange ideas and best practices on evidence and need based research around gender equality and women’s rights.
In his remarks on the project, Mr.Mohamed Djelid, UNESCO’s Director – Regional Office for Eastern Africa commented, “The Centre will provide a physical base to house collected documentation on gender equality at national level and will also be linked by a virtual library and network to other national centres to allow sharing of documentation and resources at the regional level”.
In 2005, gaps in good research and data were identified during a consultation with regional policy-makers and civil society organizations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the idea to establish such centres was pushed forward. The recommendation to establish the Regional and National Gender Research and Documentation Centres in each of the eleven (11) countries of the Great Lakes region came from a regional meeting of Ministers of Gender Affairs in 2008 in Kinshasa, Congo. The meeting was convened by UNESCO in partnership