Wednesday December 08, 2021

Finland, Kenya launch co-op to eliminate gender-based violence

Published : 26 Nov 2021, 03:44

Updated : 26 Nov 2021, 03:48

  DF Report

File Photo: EK.

Finland and Kenya have launched a bilateral project to prevent gender-based violence and to support action to tackle the problem, said the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in a press release on Thursday.

Finland and Kenya are cooperating to reduce violence against women and girls in Kenya, where gender-based violence has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Finland’s support, Kenya also aims to increase the number of women in leadership positions.

The project will strengthen the ability of the authorities to help survivors of violence and increase knowledge and awareness of gender-based violence. Kenya’s goal is to end gender-based violence and female genital mutilation (FGM) by 2026.

“The project is highly topical as gender-based violence has increased considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic. Expertise provided by Finland in addressing the issue, and our bilateral cooperation with Kenya could help to reverse this trend,” said Pirkka Tapiola, Ambassador of Finland in Nairobi.

The project will be implemented in three counties. In the counties, the problems relate to harmful cultural practices and FGM in Samburu, poverty and unwanted or unplanned pregnancies among young people in Kilifi, and high rape statistics in Bungoma.

The project has the potential to expand to other counties as well.

Kenya has budgeted EUR 1 million for the project, while Finland’s contribution amounts to EUR 5 million. Furthermore, Finland will partner with a civil society organisation (CSO) to complement the preventive efforts of the authorities in the counties. The planned support for this is EUR 2 million.

In addition, Finland and UN Women support Kenyan women to reach leadership positions in the public administration.

For example, female candidates are being trained for next year’s general elections. Female politicians and women’s organisations are supported in their efforts to improve legislation and political party practices. Violence against women is also a problem in connection with elections, which is why eradicating it would promote political participation.