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Event Reports

The Role of Rural Women in Policy Making

by Jane Murutu

3rd of April 2014 Kodedema Village

The good governance from a gender perspective requires more than women in politics. It requires fundamental incentive changes to orient public action and policy to support gender equality rights.

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The training held on 3rd of April 2014 for Kodedema women at PEFA Church, in Kodedema sub-location, Kamolo location, Amagoro division, Teso North sub-county, of Busia county to six women groups drawn from 6 different villages of the same sub-location. The villages were Kadagai, Aderait, Adot, Kodedema A,Kodedema B and Gara. There were 54 women in attendance, two media representatives from West FM and Nation newspaper respectively, a representative from the area and a Member of Parliament. The occasion was graced by Mr. Cornel Obara, the area assistant chief Kodedema sub- location.

The good governance from a gender perspective requires more than women in politics. It requires fundamental incentive changes to orient public action and policies to support gender equality rights. The elitist approach to gender issues should be discouraged. Instead a comprehensive approach encompassing both urban and rural women should be embedded in every programme at both the national and county levels respectively.

Rural women should be invited to participate in the formulation of development plans and policies which affect their well-being. Project design teams should include representatives of rural women to ensure that they benefit equitably from development.

It is in this regard that Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung partnered with Community Response for Orphans and Vulnerable Children Support Networks Organization (CROSNO) in Busia to sensitize and enlighten women on their leadership roles and the process of policy making. In addition the women in Busia were also sensitized on peace building, which is a cross cutting issue. Through this grassroot initiative the rural women will be empowered gradually to the level of their counterparts in urban areas hence will participate in governance processes much more effectively than before.

The women were trained on the role of women in:

  • Leadership
  • Decision making
  • Governance
  • Building culture of Peace
  • Understanding policy formulation processes and
  • How to present petition to relevant authorities

During this session, women were able to open up and share their problems. They talked of how they were harassed by their husbands and most of the time they were beaten up and were told that, that was a way of expressing Love. Out of the fifty four women only two had not suffered constant physical violence because they were newly married.

Women in this community were not allowed to speak before men, some men would even beat their wives if they bought new pair of clothes or dorned a new hairstyle. In general we heard many stories of untold suffering.

KAS will in future hold a similar meeting in the same place by bringing the men on board, where expert facilitators and moderators will help stimulate dialogue and discourse on governance issues affecting the rural population.

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women during a workshop in Kodedema Village, Busia, Kenya self


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