KENYA: Global movement changes tact, advocates for rights of African women

MOMBASA, MARCH 13, 2018 (F2A) – A renowned global movement has resolved to champion for the rights of African women, as a new approach to realize its Renaissance Agenda.
This approach by the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) was arrived at during a meeting of its world leaders dubbed Y3.0 Conference. The approach was informed by findings of the Right By Her Report that was shared to the more than 60 faith leaders attending the conference. Fredrik Glad-Gjernes, CEO of Y Global, noted that traditionally the YMCA was not involved in public policy setting, but in its Renaissance Agenda member associations will increasingly participate in civic decision-making processes.

Local cultural leaders who were also present during the report dissemination decried the high prevalence of teenage pregnancies in counties along Kenya’s coast, and called for concerted action by various stakeholders to curb the problem. Willie Prince Tsuma, Secretary General of the Miji Kenda Elders Association said cultural leaders support all efforts to empower women and girls. His sentiments were supported by the Chief Adviser, Mwinyi Mgwisho.

Speaking while presenting the Right By Her Report to the YMCA leaders, Faith to Action Network’s International Advocacy Officer Vitalis Mukhebi said the study highlights the status of implementation of legal instruments on protection of women rights in African countries, regional economic communities and by the African Union (AU). The report also includes good practices on the contribution of civil society, including the faith-based organizations, in realizing, securing and extending women rights.
Reynolds Kissiedu of YMCA Ghana said the report was a true reflection of issues in the community but “was shocked by the findings.”
“The report examines legal frameworks and institutions at national and regional levels vis-à-vis policies outlined by the African Union, and other global bodies,” said Mr Mukhebi. “It focuses on Gender-based violence, harmful practices, family planning, as well as HIV and AIDS,” he added.
With this new approach, YMCA joins a host of other Faith to Action Network members committed to advancing select rights of women, in accordance with their respective faiths.

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