By Carlyn Hambuba
29/08/2011 Nairobi, Kenya. The Third African Women in Political Leadership Conference organised by the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) has opened in Nairobi Kenya today. The Conference was officially opened by Minister of Gender Hon Naomi Shabaan. In a speech read on her behalf by Prof Collete Suda, Hon Shabaan noted that Kenya is making progress in achieving Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE), especially following the adoption of the new constitution which favours women.
In her remarks, Hon. Martha Karua, Member of Parliament and 2012 Presidential Candidate in Kenya advised African women not to give up, but devise new strategies that will ensure that the numbers of women in leadership are increased. Hon. Karua also called on African leaders to match their words and policies with action.
FEMNET’s Chairperson, Ms. Sylvie Ndongmo in her welcoming speech explained that the conference objectives are to; Conceptualize a Funding Framework for Women in Politics and Governance; Deliberate on support mechanisms for women in politics at national, regional and international levels and; to Share best practices and attempts made to influence the culture and agenda setting practices . Key outcomes from this Regional Conference will inform the publication of booklet titled “Success as a Female Legislator in Africa: Effective Strategies.”
“This third conference is very important in that is it building on recommendations that were made in the first and second conferences (in 2009 and 2010 respectively). This Conference will strategise on how to establish a women in political fund which will help support women that want to vie for political office. The proposition to create this fund was made at the second conference where women politician unanimously agreed that lack of resources continues to hinder many women from participating actively in politics. This conference will also create an intergenerational dialogue between young women and senior women politicians.” said Ms. Ndongmo
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