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Safina Kwekwe Tsungu, Kenya's Principal Secretary for the State Department for Gender Affairs, who unveiled the meeting’s theme - From Commitment to Action: Accelerating Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment for Sustainable Development - observed, “Kenya offered to host the Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Meeting because it will allow us to leverage lessons learned from other member countries. The meeting will help us address the systemic causes of gender inequalities like parity in education and reduce maternal mortality rates."

Kenya Hosts Commonwealth Ministerial Meeting, Puts Gender Equity on the Agenda

By Iminza Keboge
Published July 23, 2019

Amelia Kinahoi Siamomua, head of the Commonwealth’s gender section, said, “Gender equality by 2030 requires urgent action to eliminate the many root causes of discrimination that still curtail women’s rights in private and public spheres. With stepped up action on gender equality, we can make progress towards sustainable development by 2030, leaving no one behind.”Accelerating gender equity for sustainable development will top the agenda when Commonwealth ministers for gender and women’s affairs meet in Kenya.

The 12th Women’s Affairs Ministers Meeting (12WAMM), that is scheduled for the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, September 19-20, will seek to put in place measures aimed at fast-tracking the advancement of women in society as per the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

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During a briefing session to update London-based high commissions on the preparations of the 12WAMM, delegates have discussed policy papers for the event, including a key paper on accelerating gender equality and the empowerment of women, as well as the Commonwealth’s annual report on gender equality.

Commonwealth Ministerial Meeting Puts Gender Equity on the Agenda The paper calls on the 53 Commonwealth member countries to ensure that women and girls have equal access to decision-making, quality education, affordable health services and legal protections from violence that aligns with the commitment made in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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Arjoon Suddhoo, Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General, in his welcome remarks, said, “The Commonwealth devotes so much energy to building the capacity of women elected to parliament; helping institutions to become more gender-sensitive; and encouraging members to include a gender perspective in their work on programmes, policy and legislation.”

Noting that women make 64 per cent of the 2.8 billion people who live on less than US$2 a day, Dr Suddhoo urged stronger action for women’s economic empowerment.

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Safina Kwekwe Tsungu, Kenya's Principal Secretary for the State Department for Gender Affairs, who unveiled the meeting’s theme - From Commitment to Action: Accelerating Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment for Sustainable Development - observed, “Kenya offered to host the Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Meeting because it will allow us to leverage lessons learned from other member countries. The meeting will help us address the systemic causes of gender inequalities like parity in education and reduce maternal mortality rates."Safina Kwekwe Tsungu, Kenya’s Principal Secretary for the State Department for Gender Affairs, who unveiled the meeting’s theme – From Commitment to Action: Accelerating Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment for Sustainable Development – observed, “Kenya offered to host the Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Meeting because it will allow us to leverage lessons learned from other member countries. The meeting will help us address the systemic causes of gender inequalities like parity in education and reduce maternal mortality rates.”

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Amelia Kinahoi Siamomua, head of the Commonwealth’s gender section, said, “Gender equality by 2030 requires urgent action to eliminate the many root causes of discrimination that still curtail women’s rights in private and public spheres. With stepped up action on gender equality, we can make progress towards sustainable development by 2030, leaving no one behind.”