Stakeholders from the private sector have assured NGEC of mainstreaming issues of equality and inclusion in their work places as envisaged in the Constitution, marking a major milestone in the Commission’s efforts to romp in the private sector to embrace equality and inclusion principles in their programs.
The commitment came at a feedback session on proposed pilot framework for promoting equality and inclusion in the private sector-(EIPS initiative) in a meeting with private sector organizations hosted by the Commission.
The EIPs project is part of the expanded program rolled out in the public entities and in the national and county governments since 2012. The initiative focuses on promotion of substantive gender equality and inclusion in the private sector including in employment, planning and programming, corporate governance, investment, social corporate responsibility, and development agenda with focus to the participation, and inclusion of constitutionally protected groups such as women, elderly, persons with disabilities, youth, children, and minority and marginalized groups.
Addressing the stakeholders who included representatives from the Bankers Association of Kenya, Federation of Kenya Employers, the Kenya Private Sector Alliance and Media Executives, NGEC Chairperson Winfred Lichuma reiterated the importance of mainstreaming issues of all vulnerable groups namely women, youth, children, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and minority and marginalized groups adding that organizations needed to become sensitive to the peculiar needs of each group.
“If you hire a person with physical disability for instance, then you begin to appreciate that they need special amenities such as user friendly toilets, ramps and wide doors to be able to access their place of work with a wheelchair. We want the private sector to become alive to these issues and put measures and policies to guarantee equality and inclusion in their work environment” said Lichuma.
While supporting the initiative, Isaac Kiema from the Federation of Kenya Employers said that gender inequality undermines economic growth and fuels social and political unrest. He said FKE had launched a program dubbed ‘Female future’- aimed at enhancing the capacity of women to take up leadership roles.
Felicity Biriri from KEPSA commended NGEC for spearheading the EIPs initiative saying equality can only be achieved when every member of the society feels part and parcel of the development programs.
The meeting concluded with the formation of a nine member team that will sit to develop survey tools to be used to establish equality gaps that will lead to ensuring equality requirements according to the Kenya Constitution are met in the sectors of Communication, banking and built up areas
NGEC wins private sector’s nod on equality and inclusion principles