BBI INCLUSIVITY

Nyanza, Western women and youths demand inclusion in BBI steering committee

ODM leader Raila Odinga with Interior CS Fred Matiang'i met governors from Nyanza and Western to champion for BBI on Sunday.

In Summary

•Under the Urban Grassroots Women Caucus, the women supported the BBI but demanded inclusivity.

•Women, youth, and people with disabilities are being left out in BBI decisions making.

Head of Media and Advocacy Urban Grassroots Women Caucus Alice Odera with Coordinator Caroline Ogot and Winam Grassroots Director and Founder Mary Were during a press briefing on Monday.
Image: MAURICE ALAL

Women and youths from Western have demanded to be included in the Building Bridges Initiative Steering Technical committee.

They said they should directly be involved in the recently formed coordination team to take the BBI process forward.

Under the Urban Grassroots Women Caucus, the women supported the BBI but demanded inclusion.

Led by Urban Grassroots Women Caucus Coordinator Caroline Ogot, the group raised concerns with the recent developments in the formation of structures.

She observed that women, youth, and people with disabilities are being left out in BBI decisions making.

“We notice that the steering technical committee is led by two male Co-Chairs and none of these men is representative of the youth or even persons living with disabilities,” Ogot said.

She said for instance in Nyanza, two men have been fronted to coordinate BBI related activities and none of the men is representative of the women, youth, or PWDs.

 

On Sunday, ODM leader Raila Odinga with Interior CS Fred Matiang'i met governors from Nyanza and Western to champion for BBI.

Former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo and Governor Anyang' Nyong’o’s director of protocol Bob Madanji were picked as coordinators representing Siaya and Kisumu counties respectively.

“We are not pushing anybody to be removed but we want the coordinating team expanded to accommodate women, youth, and disabled persons,” Ogot said.

She added, “We wish to state that we fully support the BBI process because we realise that it is a document that brings with it many gains for women.”

Ogot lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga for the leadership they have given to the BBI process.

“We as women champions are wondering at what point exactly are these groups going to get representation if right from the onset they seem to be deliberately left out,” she said.

Winam Grassroots Director and Founder Mary Were appealed to Uhuru and Raila to consider expanding the various teams to include women.

She said women should be represented at the national, regional, and county levels.

“We as women champions are wondering at what point exactly are these groups going to get representation if right from the onset they seem to be deliberately left out,” she said.

“...this very document that we so support talks a lot about their inclusion. It is time for us to start walking the talk.”

She said they are committed as women-led organisations to ensure that the voices of women and girls and other marginalised are included and properly heard where it matters.

Head of Media and Advocacy Urban Grassroots Women Caucus Alice Odera said women should be given their rightful spaces in BBI decision-making.

She said BBI seeks to correct all injustices that women have suffered and accords them the opportunity to break barriers.

“You can’t discuss women issues on the table without having them on board. There cannot be anything for us without us,” Odera said.

She said women should not be relegated to the back seat in the BBI process that is fundamentally for their inclusion and other marginalised groups.

Ogot said Nyanza has always been a region of firsts for its women and therefore should in the forefront in championing their rights.

“We are proud to have had the first woman mayor, first woman speaker, first woman deputy governor and first, woman deputy speaker among others,” she said.