United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday joined Kenyans as they commemorated International Women’s Day (IWD) with President Uhuru Kenyatta enumerating the many strides his country has achieved towards gender parity.In a speech read on his behalf by the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta in Nairobi, the Kenyan leader also reaffirmed his government’s zero-tolerance to any form of violence or discrimination against women and girls across the country.
Kenyatta said the IWD was a special occasion the world over, to not only celebrate the gains made towards women’s empowerment, but to take stock of challenges and make renewed commitments toward gender parity.
He said no country can claim to be modern and progressive unless it recognizes the importance of gender equality.
“Let me underscore that gender empowerment is important to any society that considers itself modern and progressive. But equally and more fundamental is the need to ensure the protection of the rights of women and girls” said the President.
Kenyatta said Kenya has made remarkable progress in implementing global, regional as well as national commitments on gender equality and empowerment of women.
He said Kenya’s record on women is clearly elaborated in major continental frameworks like the Maputo Protocol which is the Bill of Rights for women in Africa, the AU solemn Declaration of Gender Equality in Africa and most recently Africa’s Agenda 2063- a development framework that aims to achieve a continent that is integrated, peaceful, prosperous and people-centred.