County assemblies across the country are expected to begin pursuing gender responsive budgeting that will finance initiatives aimed at fighting gender based violence. The move is part of a raft of outcomes outlined by the National Gender and Equality Commission which is undertaking various advocacy and research measures to support the increased financing of efforts towards prevention and response management of gender based violence in the counties.
The expectation is hinged on a series of ongoing intensive sensitization programmes facilitated by NGEC in collaboration with UNFPA in developing regulatory frameworks and facilitating programmes and financing to address gender based violence. Speaking during a sensitization forum in Naivasha, Commission Secretary Professor Rose Odhiambo said NGEC has undertaken research to map out available GBV services across the country.
“This is a costing exercise to determine the cost implications of up-scaling the provision of GBV services . Once this is done we hope to work closely with the national and county governments, Parliament and county assemblies to see that the resources needed are made available through budgeting processes, to ensure that these services are accessible to all” said Professor Odhiambo.
During the session nominated women MCAs decried what they termed as systematic discrimination both in and out of the county assembly. Laikipia nominated MCA Catherine Waruguru said nominated MCAs are barred from accessing mileage allowance which undermines their ability to conduct advocacy interventions against gender based violence.
“We shall be moving to court soon to challenge the Salaries and Remuneration Commission’s directive that nominated MCAs should not draw a mileage allowance” said Ms. Waruguru. She said her counterparts are pushing to be allocated a kitty for office and logistics to facilitate their engagement with the public.
Mombasa nominated MCA Serah Nyamvula claimed that nominated MCAs are denied leadership positions in the county assembly committees thus undermining their authority to pursue gender responsive initiatives.
NGEC’s deputy CEO incharge of programmes and research Paul Kuria assured the MCAs that the Commission had received submissions on some of the issues they had raised and promised to facilitate further engagement to resolve the issues.
Photo: Tharaka Nithi County MCA Japhet Nyaga makes a point during the sensitization workshop.
MCAs sensitized on gender responsive budgeting