Uhuru: Government committed to ending gender-based violence

Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta virtually addresses delegates at the Agnes Tirop Conference in Diani, Kwale County on January 17, 2022.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The President also said that many times when we talk about gender equity we are referring to men, however, men in sports have and are also victims of gender-based violence.
  • “The safe sports environment we are looking forward to creating should be for both men and women. My government is determined to promote gender equity in sport. I hope that by the end of this conference, you will present to the country and the world at large a commendable roadmap to tackle gender bias in sports,” he said. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta Monday said that gender-based violence stifles women’s potential in society and the government will stop at nothing to end the vice.

The President, who addressed a conference dubbed; “Levelling The Playing Field: Gender Inclusivity”, that is underway at Diani Reef Hotel in Kwale County via video link, said that the government has allocated resources and put in place mechanisms to empower women.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed officially opened the three-day conference and later received a report from the Gender Welfare and Equity in Sports Committee chairperson, legendary athlete Catherine Ndereba.

The conference is being held in honour of 2015 World Cross Country Championships winner Agnes Tirop who was found murdered in her house in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet on October 13 last year. Her estranged lover Ibrahim Rotich, a suspect in the case, is in police custody.

CS Amina said that President Kenyatta is committed to empowering sportsmen and women by establishing the Sports Fund and introducing cash awards for Kenyan athletes who excel at major championships.

Sports Principal Secretary Joe Okudo, Sports Chief Administrative Secretary Zacharia Kinuthia, Chief Administrative Secretary for the State Department for Gender Linah Jebii Kilimo, Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, Supreme Court Judge Njoki Ndung’u and retired Judge Joyce Aluoch, athletes and other sports stakeholders were present.

The President said that the conference is a call to action to protect women and girls.

“Last year, one of our brightest sports stars Agnes Tirop, had her promising life and career cut short. It is not only a sad day for sports in Kenya but also for the world since we had all lost a world record holder. One death is one too many,” he said in a statement.

“Clearly, our sportspersons are not faring well outside the running track and playing fields. These are our children, and we cannot let them down at their time of need. Gender-based violence in sports must end. It is for this reason that I directed the formation of a Gender Welfare and Equity in Sports Committee to conduct an analysis of women inclusion in teams and federations’ management, existing challenges and opportunities for corrective improvement.”

The President also said that many times when we talk about gender equity we are referring to men, however, men in sports have and are also victims of gender-based violence.

“The safe sports environment we are looking forward to creating should be for both men and women. My government is determined to promote gender equity in sport. I hope that by the end of this conference, you will present to the country and the world at large a commendable roadmap to tackle gender bias in sports,” he said. 

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