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NCCK to help Women safeguard gender gains in the constitution
THE LIMURU DECLARATION
MADE BY THE WOMEN LEADERS CONFERENCE ON 12TH JULY 2012
We the women leaders drawn from Central, Coast, Lower Eastern, Nairobi, Northrift, Nyanza, South Rift, Upper Eastern and Western regions of the National Council of Churches of Kenya have met here at Jumuia Conference and Country Home, Limuru, during the Women Leaders Conference from 11th to 12th July 2012.
Having come together in prayer and reflection and with a spirit of sisterhood as representatives of our churches:
Underscoring and deliberating on Gender and the New Constitutional Order with specific attention to:
i) Gender Gains in the new constitution
ii) Opportunities for women in the leadership and governance structures
iii) Economic empowerment
iv) Provisions under the Elections Act
v) Peaceful coexistence and measure to curb violence during elections
Noting with great concern:
i) Women’s inadequate awareness of laws and their rights as enshrined in the new Constitution
ii) Women’s lack of economic empowerment which constrains them from making a political impact
iii) Women’s under representation in church leadership as well as political parties
iv) Women’s sidelining and marginalization from decision making
Recognizing that the new constitution bears a number of women specific milestones that include:
i) Women can now pass citizenship to children and spouses and will not lose citizenship upon marriage
ii) Elimination of gender discrimination in relation to land and property ownership
iii) Affirmation of representation of women in all elective and appointive positions by establishing the two thirds rule
iv) Establishment of gender equality in political, economic, cultural and social engagements without discrimination on the basis of gender, marital status, health, status, ethnicity, race, age, religion or culture
v) The fundamental duty of the state and state organs to observe, respect, protect, promote and fulfill the rights and fundamental freedoms among other gains
Aware that concerted efforts are needed to safeguard and harness these gains for the wellbeing of our families, communities and country;
WE COMMIT TO:
- Empower women in our churches and communities to understand their rights, strengthen their families and take up leadership and governance positions at local and national level.
- Start Family Life Education at church and grass root level: We note with great concern the abandonment of responsibilities especially by in most families particularly by men, hence the need to encourage equal responsibility by both parents.
On the same breath, we commit to Instigate marriage encounters initiatives to strengthen the family unit, by creating safe spaces for parents to dialogue, and come up with mechanisms to solve family issues amicably
- Support the youth and our children in general by imparting life skills to make the right decisions in throughout their lives, particularly on the issue of property ownership and management. We shall also encourage our children to share with us as parents and pastors on any issue affecting them.
- Encourage people to plan for the future and particularly to write a will, which goes a long way in minimizing disputes and enhance stability of dependants.
- We are against abortion! We therefore will campaign against it in our churches, communities, and all women forums so that the government is aware that we are not for it.
- Preach Peace and unity among all tribes in our communities. As women leaders we should take responsibility of teaching people on reconciliation.
- Advice the youth not allow themselves to be used by politicians to cause violence; They should be God fearing.
- Open Accounts with SMEP and encourage others to do so in our churches for economic empowerment
To facilitate successful achievement of these commitments, we call upon the churches and School institutions in Kenya to:
- Take the responsibility of educating communities on peaceful coexistence and encourage reconciliation by starting peace and reconciliation programs in churches and schools.
- We Call upon NCCK to educate the churches more about SMEP so as to own it fully.
- Review the education curriculum so that it is flexible and less focused on mean scores and focus on imparting life skills to students and allowing them to participate in extracurricular activities.
Having agreed to undertake and advocate for these actions, we commit ourselves and the women in our regions and churches to remain focused and courageous in the face of all the challenges that are facing women in our nation.
Signed on this 12th day of July 2012 at Jumuia Conference and Country Home, Limuru, during the Women’s Leaders Conference by the NCCK Regional Church Women Representatives from Nairobi, Lower Eastern, Upper Eastern, North Rift, South Rift, Nyanza, Western and Central