A campaign seeking to encourage media outlets in Kenya to give more attention to women empowerment issues has been launched.
Dubbed Wezesha Dada Inua Jamii, the campaign is urging the media to dedicate at least five more minutes every week to tell stories about women’s role in development.
The initiative is funded by USAID and seeks to have women and girls recognized as important pillars of development.
It was inspired by Half the Sky Movement which seeks to put an end to the oppression of women and girls worldwide.
In turn the movement draws its inspiration from Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s best-selling book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.
According to Rosa Kihara, the Wezesha Dada campaign manager, the initiative also includes men and recognises the empowerment of women as a means to development.
She was speaking during the Wezesha Dada gala dinner held at dusitD2 hotel in Nairobi on March 24, 2015.
POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA
“As we look beyond the Millennium Development Goals into the post-2015 development agenda, it is critical to ensure that Kenya’s women and girls are not left behind.
“Our future will be bright when we deliberately choose to include women and girls in every stage of the country’s development. To do this, women’s issues must be a centrepiece of the discussion,” said Ms Kihara.
Wezesha Dada Inua Jamii uses the power of storytelling through various media platforms to share the insightful and inspiring stories of fearless women and men who are bringing positive change to the lives of Kenyan women and girls.
The main issues that the initiative seeks to address are economic empowerment, education, gender based violence, reproductive health, and maternal and child health.
In her remarks, USAID Deputy Mission Director, Tina Dooley-Jones said that gender equality is one of the most sustainable development solutions.
“Through the Half the Sky Global Engagement Initiative, USAID/Kenya is committed to support innovative approaches to challenge socio-economic and cultural norms and practices that limit gender equality,” she said.
She was speaking during the launch of the Wezesha Dada Inua Jamii campaign.
The campaign has identified the media as the most popular storyteller, and is appealing to broadcasters and journalists to find and report insightful and inspiring stories which have women at the core.
It is hoped that by the end of 2015, the campaign will have had a positive impact on government policies in regard to women and girls in Kenya.