UN Women recently collaborated with the Council of Governors (CoG) and Nyeri County Government to convene a gender roundtable meeting, the first ever in the county. The roundtable is convened to track the gains accruing to women, youth and people with disability in the planning, budgeting, implementation of projects in the counties. The forum provides a platform for various actors in the county to interact and discuss gender equity and equality and women’s empowerment at work, and for women, youth and persons with disabilities to engage the County Governments on their specific needs and priorities.
The meeting in Nyeri County focused on how the county can achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and explored the role of women in ensuring success of this goal. UN Women’s role was to offer technical input in the discussions and guidance in the discussions about gender equity and equality. The meeting heard that Nyeri is among the counties with highest burden of non-communicable diseases in Kenya. To achieve UHC, a lot of focus will be required towards prevention efforts and health promotion for lifestyle modification and nutrition improvement. It was also disclosed that Nyeri is one of the UHC pilot counties, and it is anticipated that all residents in the county will be enrolled on the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) by the end of the year. Among those that attended the meeting were Community Health Volunteers from all sub-counties in Nyeri County, as well as all women leaders in the county government.
UN Women also conducted a needs assessment with the women MCAs in relation to their role and capacity gaps in advancing gender equality and women empowerment in Nyeri County. The exercise established that the women face challenges participating effectively in the processes at the County Assembly and some have been frustrated on the floor of the house by their male colleagues and are thus unable to push through motions or debate around women issues. Through a partnership with the CoG, UN Women will provide technical assistance to build the capacity of the women leaders to increase their knowledge and skills on gender as well as advocacy and negotiation skills. To create a supportive environment for the women in the assembly, male MCAs will be sensitized on gender equality and women leadership.
The event was organized in collaboration with County Assemblies Forum and Society of Clerks at the Table (SOCATT).