Meru County, YWCA launch project to promote youth leadership

What you need to know

  • YWCA and Meru County government have launched a five-year gender advocacy programme to draw more young women into leadership.
  • Programme will also build capacity of young people aged between 15 and 35 years in advocating the rights of young men.

Young Women’s Christian Association of Kenya (YWCA) and Meru County government have launched a five-year gender advocacy programme aimed at drawing more young women into leadership. The programme dubbed Young Women for Awareness, Agency, Advocacy and Accountability (YW4A) spearheaded by YWCA is also targeting faith-based organisations that limit women’s rights. Speaking during the launch of the programme in Meru town, (YWCA) National General Secretary Deborah Olwal, lauded Meru for putting in place a sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) policy that enabled the partnership.

She said the project is also designed to push for development of policies and laws that promote young women’s rights to leadership and participation as well as ending SGBV. “The programme will build the capacity of young people aged between 15 and 35 years in advocating the rights of young men. We will also work with men, especially the elders to ensure this is achieved,” Ms Olwal said. She said the initiative also aims at challenging young women to take up leadership positions from the grassroots to the national level. “We will also be working with faith-based organisations to look at social norms that stifle young women’s efforts to getting into leadership. Meru County Gender Executive Linner Kailanya, said the plan will go a long way in empowering women under the Meru Twaweza initiative. “A lot of awareness is needed among young women to enable them rise above some limitations such as female genital mutilation that still happen in our community. We will be engaging elders to ensure such retrogressive vices are eliminated,” Ms Kailanya said.

Nominated MCA Lucy Mukaria, who is also the chairperson of the Meru County Assembly Women Caucus, said the initiative was timely, coming when few women leaders were taking part in elective leadership.
The project funded by the Netherlands government is being implemented in Kenya, Egypt, Palestine and South Sudan.

dmuchui@ke.nationmedia.com