Kenya hosted the third United Nations World Conference on women in Nairobi in 1985. The conference aimed to evaluate the progress made during UN Decade for Women and devise a new course of action for the advancement of women. 30 years on, while substantial progress had been made, it was clear that there was still a great deal to be done. Participants were especially vocal on the subject of violence against women, which they felt had not been given the attention it deserved.
Nairobi on 13th August 2015, held a celebration of 30 years since the third world conference on women. The celebration supported by UN Women Kenya brought together gender and women affairs ministers from across the continent aimed at taking stock of the progress made in the last 30 years in the African women’s movement.
H.E the President Uhuru Kenyatta who opened the Nairobi +30 conference and launched the two-thirds gender principal campaign to facilitate gender equity highlighted that since the 1st World Conference on Women was held in Mexico, major achievements have been realized in gender equity.
‘’Women now hold major leadership positions right across this continent. That advance has been matched by unprecedented economic empowerment,” the President said, adding that more needs to be done, as indicated in the recent review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform of Action.
Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru who was also in attendance stated that women empowerment is no longer an alternative in Kenya.
‘’We are thankful for the women who have gone before use, who opened the door, and fought the hard battle in bringing gender issues to the development decision-making table. We are cognisant that were it not for strong women who went before us, we would not be where we are today. We hope that as we advance this agenda, we may make them proud and honor their efforts,” she said.
Kenya Women Parliametarian Association Chairperson, Hon.Cecily Mbarire took time to celebrate women who participated in the fight for women mentioning; Phoebe Asiyo, Zipporah Kittony, Martha Karua, late Prof. Wangari Mathai, among others. In her remarks she counted the gains achieved since the third world women conference in Kenya highlighting that the number of women in parliament had increased.
Hon. Mbarire thanked the President for being gender sensitive and challenged him to be in support of the women till 2017 and see what they will do for him in matters winning the elections. She mentioned to the President that much help was needed from him to push for the not more than two third gender principle.
The women in the Nairobi +30 conference were challenged to go out there and speak of the good work that the government had done for them. Especially since much but not enough has been done for the women during the currents government.
The two day conference brought together ambassadors from the countries that have hosted the world conference of women namely; Mexico, China and Denmark. Women from all over the country were in attendance and also Government dignitaries. More than 1000 of people attended the conference. The conference was a total celebration for women and a chance to prove that we are not there yet. More needs to be done to achieve Gender Equality Including; more women being elected, more training for women to know how to feel tender documents in the 30% procurement plan for their economic empowerment.