In Pursuit of Democracy, Human Rights and Gender Equality in Kenya
Over 350 representatives from the civil society, International organizations, creative sector, the government and the general public gathered at the Kenya National Theatre on Wednesday 31st January for the official opening of the 2018 Annual Democracy and Human Rights Festival.
Speaking during the official opening of the festival, Lucy Githaiga – the Country Manager, Diakonia Kenya, thanked partners for the role they played in strengthening Democracy, Human Rights and Gender Equality in Kenya. She termed the festival as a celebration while acknowledging the Embassy of Sweden for their immense support of the program.
Isiolo Senator Hon. Fatuma Dullo shared her journey to Senate and the challenges women face in elective positions. She urged women to come up and take the available opportunities in various fields “We need to support women empowerment and gender equality especially in marginalized areas .” Noted Senator Dullo. Swedish Ambassador to Kenya Anna Jardfelt graced the opening session.
The festival, scheduled for 2 days, will deliberate on the Struggle for Gender Equality, the evolving space of civil society and the way forward as a country.
The Democracy and Human Rights Program commenced in July 2015 and was officially launched on the 30th of October of the same year. The program aims to overall goal is improve the democratic culture, accountability and gender equality in Kenya. The media, art and civil society being key drivers to achieve this objective.
Current partners for the program include: The Interreligious Council of Kenya, The National Council of Churches of Kenya, Transparency International Kenya, The Kenya Human Rights Commission, The International Budget Partnership, The Independent Medico-Legal Unit, Inuka Kenya ni Sisi!, Uraia, The Legal Resources Foundation, The International Centre for Policy and Conflict (ICPC), The Civil Society Reference Group (CSORG), The Legal Arc Youth Group, FIDA-Kenya and the Katiba Institute.
Before, Diakonia, Forum Syd and partners organised, in 2016, a Conference under the theme ‘Haki na uongozi bora, ni Wajibu Wetu! Similar national conferences undertaken in the past include the Annual Devolution Conferences among other meetings and workshops that have sought to strengthen the rolling out of democratic processes in the country.