Gender and Governance

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Local authorities exploit Kenyans ignorant

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Set up by the government over 10 years ago to improve provision of services at the community level, decisions on how millions of devolved funds are used have remained a preserve of a few people in the local authorities.

Contrary to expectations, a new study shows that less than 20 percent of Kenyans know about the existence of funds such as Local Authority Transfer Fund (LATF), which by law,  are supposed to involve the public in deciding how the monies are utilized.

Sudan is a young democracy battling to stay afloat against a backdrop of a fragile peace arrangement after a civil strife that lasted about 22 years and fuelled by decades-old misunderstandings between Arabs in the north and blacks in the south.

Although the country acquired independence from the United Kingdom and Egypt in 1956, the people have lived with the terrifying sound of gunshots and the pungent smell of spilt blood, which ceased only with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005.

East African gender activists are flexing their muscles in anticipation of a coordinated campaign for the return of a gender agenda within the processes for the establishment of the East African Community (EAC).

A decade has passed since Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania signed the Treaty for the establishment of the EAC, ushering in provisions for a customs union to remove all taxes on goods between the countries of the community and to apply a uniform import tax on all goods from outside the region; a common market – guaranteeing the free movement of persons, labour, services, capital and the right to live anywhere in the partner states; a monetary union – with a uniform currency as well as economic policies; and political federation – with common foreign and security policies.

Using the 

media to promote and strengthen gender balanced coverage

A research conducted by the Eastern African Sub-region Supporting Initiative for Advancement of Women (EASSI) showed that, the level of women speaking in the media is still below 50 per cent despite women making over 52 per cent of the population. In most cases, when women speak, their roles are often limited to victims, family or only when they are celebrities. On the other hand, professionals quoted were treated like men. Often reporters say that editors have scrapped stories about women or women's issues because they did not find them newsworthy.

Although Uganda is one of the leading countries in East Africa with regards to enhancing gender equality through leadership and decision-making, there is still a remarkable disparity in the way men and women are portrayed in the media.

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South Sudan: Complicating the Vote for Women

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JUBA, South Sudan (IPS) - In April 2010, the people of South Sudan will vote in a milestone general election, and for the first time, South Sudanese women will be able to participate.

Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, which ended the 21 years of civil war in the south, elaborate and ambitious plans have been made for elections, which the people will excitedly take part in next year.

Read the rest on IPS Europe


Women happy with the audit on the draft constitution
Women happy with the audit on the draft constitution

A galaxy of women leaders drawn from across political, regional and professional divides yesterday assembled in Nairobi and audited each chapter and article of the Harmonised Draft Constitution of Kenya, taking a common position on each one of them which they will then present as their official stand to the Committee of Experts.



Beijing Platform for ActionLast week in Banjul, Gambia, women from all shades of life started one of the most significant journey in their struggle to realizing gender equality and women’s human rights by setting into motion the review of Beijing plus 15, a key document used to measure what countries are doping to make the world a better place for women.

This review will culminate with the launch and deliberations on the BPfA status report that is slated to take placed at the UN headquarters in New York, USA, in early 2010.

The launch of the African Women’s Decade this week marks yet another new beginning for women in the continent.

The recent nominations of four male personalities to occupy the coveted positions of CJ, Attorney General, Director of Public Prosecutions, and Director of Budgets, have left women convinced that the realisation that the spirit new constitution might a mirage.

While the New Constitution is categorical on the application of the affirmative action in all decisions taken by the state, the public, and the private sectors, these nominations did not reflect this spirit, leaving many women wondering: is the new constitution really going to guarantee the achievement of the gender justice that has eluded them for many years?

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