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Bungoma County concerned with plight of women

10 March 2014, 15:01 Arap yego

Bungoma - The county government of Bungoma is committed towards ensuring that women rights in the region are upheld and their welfare boosted, Jeniffer Mbatiany, the Gender Advisor in the Office of the Governor has said.

Speaking during the Bungoma County's International Women's Day Celebration in Kapsokwony on Saturday, Mbatiany said the county government has made deliberate affirmative efforts to improve the welfare of women in the county.

"The Bungoma County Government has set aside KES 40 million, funds which will soon be disbursed as grants to women groups in each of the 45 wards in the county to assist them to start businesses," said Mbatiany at the celebrations, which were partly funded by the county government in conjunction with Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization.

"We are currently organising sensitization workshops and campaigns in the sub-counties on how best the groups can put the funds into use before disbursing it to the grassroots," she added.

Mbatiany observed that according to current statistics, the poverty levels in the county stand at 56 percent and empowering women economically is the only way to reduce the high poverty levels.

Concerning the high cases of teenage pregnancies in the region, especially in Mt Elgon, she explained that the county government has rolled out gender-based programmes meant to curb the vice. The programme, which was launched last year, involves the mentoring of young girls through inspiration talks.

Berryl Mutekhele, the Bungoma County Executive in charge of Education and ICT, said the county has tried to conform to the 30 percent gender parity rule, but noted that more still needs to be done especially during elections.

"As leaders, we are happy that women are at the core of the operations in the local Bungoma county government. Three of us are in the executive and a good number are at the county assembly. But we are nowhere in the national assembly, save for our County Woman MP. Am appealing to women in the county to support more of their own to ascend to elective political positions," urged Mutekhele.

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