Kenya: CONTRIBUTIONS TO INTERNAL GENDER MAINSTREAMING

                                          CONTRIBUTIONS TO INTERNAL GENDER MAINSTREAMING

Annex 1: Corporate culture

Gender equality is intrinsically linked to sustainable development and is vital to the realization of human right for all. The   overall objective of gender is a society in which women and men enjoy the same opportunity, rights and obligation in all sphere of life.

This refers to several factors which include work environment, company vision, mission and ethics that guide its employees both during work time and while outside work environment as a way of achieving gender equality.

As an employee, I make significant contribution in promoting gender equality not only internally but also externally. Through my contribution, I take the following measures to achieve this externally within the community I serve:

  • Empowering young girls and boys through capacity building in peace building.
  • Empowering women so that they take good care of their families by participating fully in economic development across all sectors which is essential in building stronger and sustainable global economic development goals and improve the quality of life for families and communities.
  • Encourage parents to let both girls and boys access school equally.
  • Encourage communities against early child marriages and sexual harassment. This will be done through awareness, sensitization, community dialogue and conducting focus group discussions
  • Talk to women and girls by organizing focus group discussions to bring out the problems or challenges that they are facing.
  • Raise aspirations of girls and women through community awareness forums in the villages.

Internally, my contribution in achieving gender equality within the work environment is by paying equal attention to the needs of my colleagues whether women or men and looking at them as equals regardless of their positions, religious or political affiliations, race, tribe or creed. Through my peace and conflict managements skills, I impart the same to my colleagues in leading by example. Through the process of encouraging and capacity building my colleagues in being peace ambassadors in their respective areas of specialization and where they come from, this makes both genders see themselves as equal human beings despite the differences that culture might have created or imposed on them.

On the other hand, process that I employ to promote gender equality outside my work place is raising aspirations of girls by mentoring them to be those great women that have made it in the world and that the world needs them the most to bring change in the field of gender mainstreaming. By doing so, they feel empowered and work harder as their male counterparts towards achievement of their goals and a light not only in their families but also to the world at large.

Additionally, I pay visits to primary and secondary schools to encourage and enlightening boys and girls on the importance of treating each other as their equals and supporting them to achieve their dreams to make commitment to achieve gender equality in our society whereby young girls and boys grow up having a good understanding that none of them is superior to the other. This will therefore make them ambassadors of gender equality at an early age which is a key strategy towards gender mainstreaming. The use of girl/boy child centered approach is unique in achieving gender equality in the community since it makes them aware of the benefits of gender equality not only to themselves but also to others in the society at large at an early stage of human development thus growing up respecting and championing for gender equality. By doing this, children will grow up with spirit of supporting one another by giving equal opportunities to each other irrespective of their genders.

In my journey to achieving gender equality, I also use mother/child approach whereby I take time to talk to mothers how to nurture their children during upbringing in making them appreciate each other be it a girl or a boy. This is because mothers spend a lot of time with their children and children at the same time believe in what their mothers communicate to them especially during childhood and thus grow up keeping it.

This therefore in my view will help the world in achieving gender equality in which both women and men will be given equal opportunities in which each one of them is productive depending on their capacity and most importantly each of them sees each other as an equal in different set ups for example in school, at work, at home etc.

Whenever I am doing capacity building on men and women, I give them equal opportunities to contribute during trainings and by doing so, everyone feels of importance to the society. They also do not see each other as men and women but as one people with a main objective of achieving what they are working towards achieving.

Annex 2: Gender Competence

This is the ability of people to recognize and understand gender perspectives in their work environment and concentrate on them to achieve gender equality because gender competence is key in achieving gender mainstreaming.

With a good understanding of gender perspective, co-workers can therefore easily work as a team towards achieving of gender equality not only within their work environment, but also to the communities they serve and partner agencies.

My organizational unit promotes gender equality by training youth both female and male to be peace ambassadors in their respective areas of residence. They do this by bringing both genders together and giving them same opportunities to make contributions towards peace achievement, they no longer see each other as man and woman but as people with equal strengths that can work together to achieve a specific goal.

Despite working towards achieving gender equality, the following are the challenges my organizational unit and my country Kenya faces in achieving gender equality:

  • Cultural practices that make male gender look superior to its counterpart.
  • Early marriages that sometimes force young girls to drop out of school.
  • Societal setting in which women are meant to do only house roles as men go out there to explore different opportunities.
  • Lack of adequate funds to support gender mainstreaming programs at county levels.
  • Lack of appropriate channels to spearhead gender mainstreaming program. The existing gender mainstreaming programs have been made to lean towards the girl child making the boy child feel neglected by the society thus shifting towards empowering only girls.

 My success in promoting gender equality is having trained young men and woman to become peace ambassadors in their localities and in mediation which is being done in schools by teachers to boys and girls for them to be able to resolve conflict among themselves.

 

Annex 3: Cooperation

This is whereby individuals or agencies come together with a common goal of achieving gender equality at different level of their interaction with the people and communities they work with. Gender equality can be an individual objective but can only be realized through joint efforts.

In my organizational unit, I corporate with partner agencies which work on SGBV in Kakuma refugee camp and Kalobeyei Refugee Settlement and hosting community in Turkana West Sub-County towards zero SGBV tolerance. I attend SGBV Working Group Meetings to discuss gender-based issues arising each day. Working group members discuss emerging issues concerning SGBV and have a look on how they can improve existing SGBV mechanism that they use in supporting survivors of SGBV.

The following are the challenges we face in the line of promoting gender equality within Refugee community and hosting community:

  • Lack of government layout mechanism in promoting gender equality at local levels.
  • Lack of public awareness on gender equality and its importance to the community.
  • Inadequate support from partner agency in terms of financial support to enable effective implementation.
  • Power of relations rooted in culture. The development approach is based on understanding of the gender as structural relation of power rooted in the culture, social and economic important of this approach its understanding of gender as social and relational phenomenon.
  • Exclusion of women in decision making.

Despite these challenges, I can smile of success indicators like equal jobs opportunities for both men and women by various employers, colleagues respecting and treating each other equally irrespective of their gender. Girls and boys supporting one another in school to achieve their educational goals. Teachers being ambassadors of gender equality in their schools which a good way towards promoting and achieving gender mainstreaming.

To ensure that gender aspect is well understood and be aware of the provision of educating communities   on relief and recovery UNSCR  1325 and be able to learn how to integrate. This basic approach has work well in our work because we are saving the lives and reduce suffering by responding to the need of the people affected by emergency, displacement and the war

The outcome of gender equality is that most of the women and girls are living in absolute poverty. This base on understanding of gender differences between men and women, if this will not be considered it will lead to scarce of resources. However, if women will be involved in decision making, distribution of food, there will be accurate and transparency in the community work.

The GBV /SGBV cases are emerging in the refugee community and host community the only intervention that will be put in place is to report all the cases immediately and investigate. They are also supposed to form women and girl unions, enforcement of law and finally advocating on women and girls right.

 

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