While the Constitution of Kenya 2010 has very progressive benchmarks for ensuring participation in decision making, especially for women, who for a long time have been excluded from these processes, the Isiolo County woman remains largely invisible. Over 100 participants at the Gender Forum held in Isiolo on Sunday 2nd February 2014 urged the leadership to involve women in county budgeting process in line with Article 21 (3) of the Constitution which provides that “all State organs and … public officers have the duty to address the needs of vulnerable groups within society, including women…” Isiolo residents are disappointed that concerns of women were not taken into account in the 2013/14 budgeting process, prompting the convening of the forum. As one participant stated “We expect that issues of women will be factored in the 2014/15 budget,” confirming that women will organise to position themselves in the current budget process.
The Heinrich Böll Stiftung partnered with Baliti FM, a local community radio station and the Foundation for Pastoralist Women (FOPAWO), a local NGO to convene the Forum which drew the interest and participation of local leaders, development agencies, advocacy organisations including the League of Women Pastoralists, the Isiolo Youth Network among others. Over 100 male and female participants attended, women representing each corner of the vast Isiolo County, and many others reached through live broadcast on 102.7 Baliti FM. The radio presenters observed that youth and women voices in governance are not given prominence and they expressed satisfaction that they could amplify them through the radio.
Download and read the full Article on Gender Forum held in Isiolo on 2nd Feb 2014.