Gender programme: Equity and equality for both genders
The customary practices within Kenya’s communities tended to marginalise the women. When viewed from human point of view and the place of the human person in creation, both genders should enjoy equality in every sense of human consideration safe, in the reproductive systems. Certain practices by our fore bearers, without condemning them, were obnoxious. However, many of these cruel practices arose due to the communities’ war like activities that got them from the families for long spells and every time they came back to their communities, hurt, maimed, dejected sometimes defeated they reacted badly to their own. Remoteness, backwardness and primitivity promoted crude behaviour particularly due to lack of understanding of biological and social (natural) differences between the male and female gender. The communities never considered the value and principle of complimentarity and men saw idlers and simple creatures in women who they relegated to homestead activities.
We in FORD Asili recognize and acknowledge the gender disparity in favour of men in many aspects of our life. Although a lot of effort has been put and progress made towards gender equality and equity, a lot more needs to be done in order to close the gender gap. Research has shown that no nation can develop adequately without addressing gender issues. Since the female gender comprises about 50 percent of the population in the world, neglect of women’s development is simply burying our heads in the sand as does the proverbial ostrich. In many cases the female gender has been more focused and productive than their counterparts in the other gender. FORD Asili will strive to achieve gender equality and equity in all sectors of our society by 2017. To achieve this, FORD-Asili is committed to rising up and lifting the female gender by addressing the following issues:
We shall promote the education of female gender at all levels but not against the other gender. We shall put in place a programme to educate our communities on the importance of women’s education in community and national development alongside men’s education. We shall use role models in communities with both genders to dispel doubt on the value of women’s education. At higher education levels, we shall give incentives to women who wish to pursue education past the first-degree level. We will use preferential methods weighted in favour of women to ensure that more women attain higher levels of education and employment.
Cultural discrimination of women can take a long time to eliminate from the Kenyan society going by the slow acceptance of the complimentary role that both gender play in life and society. We shall accelerate the rate of change by formulating laws and policies that promote affirmative action and prohibit discrimination and to specifically target women empowerment and run sustained education programmes both formal and informal on the need for communities’ change of attitudes and discriminative tendencies and cultures.
Some sectarian and national gender programmes have tended to concentrate on women alone. This alienates them from the men and so it appears to create a boundary and a sense in men that the programme is deliberate to push women against men. This has often seen programmes with good intentions fail to achieve significant progress towards gender equality.
The government is a very important change-agent in national socio-political and cultural spheres. If the government runs programmes that are well accepted by the people, the chances of success are very high. A FORD-Asili Government would entrench issues of gender equality and equity in legal and policy documents in order that all systems of state and government are actively involved and committed to the engendering programme.
FORD-Asili will aim at achieving 50:50 parity in women-men ratio in the civil service and strive to see the same implemented by the private sector. We will also encourage affirmative action in the private sector and give incentives to those enterprises that embark on programmes to achieve gender parity so that fifty percent of all positions in the public and private sector are by the other gender by the year 2020.