Kirinyaga Residents Sensitized On GBV

The County Government of Kirinyaga is engaging the community dialogues on financial inclusion as a way of reducing cases of gender-based violence (GBV) in the county.

The forums that are targeting community opinion shapers across both genders ahead of the oncoming International Women’s Day (IWD) are aimed at creating awareness among the county residents on how to better manage financial issues in families to avert conflicts that at times escalate to grievous levels.

Led by the County Executive Committee Member for Gender and Youth, Millicent Nyawira, the forums delved into pressing issues surrounding financial inclusion, property succession, new economic opportunities, and the urgent need to empower and protect women.

The CEC said that the topics in the discussion were in line with this year’s IWD theme, ‘Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress,’ since women in the county disproportionately suffer from financial inequalities in their families.

‘We have been speaking with both women and men on financial liter
acy, emphasizing matters such as economic empowerment, proper inheritance, and succession planning to mitigate conflicts within families,’ Nyawira emphasized.

She said that the forums have been teaching the importance of proper inheritance and succession planning by encouraging parents to dialogue with their children and be open about all the property they have as a family and the best way to share it equally and fairly.

Evans Muriithi, an opinion leader and a participant in a public dialogue held in Baricho sub-county, expressed gratitude for the initiative, stating, ‘We are happy about this exercise as we are getting knowledge and support on how to manage and invest our money to have stable homes,’ he said.

On succession disputes, Muriithi noted that in Mount Kenya, there are countless succession conflicts, which are mainly due to ignorance and a lack of proper planning.

He appreciated the county government’s effort to champion GBV issues in an inclusive manner that incorporated men.

The CECM said that
the Kirinyaga County government is committed to implementing sustainable interventions for GBV in the county.

She said that the county government is putting up a GBV recovery center at Kerugoya Hospital, which will soon be commissioned.

She added that there has been the implementation of an economic empowerment program (Wezesha Kirinyaga) that has been funding groups to undertake income-generating activities for sustainable livelihoods.

The dialogues were organized in partnership with Rainforest Alliance, whose representative, Elizabeth Njenga, said that it has heavily invested in empowering the community by understanding market opportunities available in the county and encouraging farmers to diversify their sources of income from tea and coffee farming to other agricultural ventures.

Njenga shed light on the challenges faced by women, including barriers to financial inclusion and succession due to patriarchal systems.

‘The main issues affecting women include succession, as the system is still very patri
archal and it is mostly men who own the land; thus, women find it difficult to get financial inclusion or even loans,’ she said.

Another leader, Jennifer Muthoni, emphasized the transformative potential of the dialogue, saying it would help families grow healthier financially.

She noted that financial instability leads to restlessness and conflicts among family members, while division of family properties leads to infighting in families.

Source: Kenya News Agency