Nyeri Governor launches report on Status of the boy child in Kenya
A report based on a preliminary study of the status of the boy child in Kenya conducted by NGEC has revealed gaps that could potentially leave the boy child behind in the gender equality agenda. The report which was launched in Nyeri on Friday,11th December, 2015 by Governor Nderitu Gachagua of Nyeri County makes several recommendations aimed at mainstreaming the needs of the boy child in the gender equality agenda.
Speaking while launching the report Governor Nderitu Gachagua who was represented by the County Secretary, Ms.Alice Wachira commended the Commission for releasing the report saying the study was timely. “On behalf of the Nyeri County Government which I lead, we are keen to studying the findings and recommendations of the report and take necessary measures as appropriate” said Gachagua. He said his government would continue to liaise with the Commission and other stakeholders to drive the affirmative action programmes forward.
Speaking during the launch that brought stakeholders among them Youth, Gender and Children officers from several counties, Commissioner Dr. Florence Wachira said the findings were based on feedback received from respondents sampled in eight counties across the country. Majority of the respondents in the study said the boy child was lagging behind because there has been over-focus on the girl child by the Government and Non-Governmental Organizations in terms of programmes and interventions to empower the girl child.
The study lists family related issues, parental neglect, drug and substance abuse, peer pressure, early marriages, cultural beliefs and practices, poverty among others as some of the factors leading to the exclusion of the boy child.
The report makes a raft of recommendations to National and County Governments as well as to the civil society to implement measures to address the plight of the boy child. “The National Government’s programs on poverty reduction should focus on the most needy to ensure that children do not drop out of school but are retained till completion”. Says the report.
The report calls for strengthening of guidance and counselling services in schools and the teaching of life skills. County Governments are urged to create awareness on the rights of the child at the grass-root level, stop child labour and enforce parental responsibility on education of their children and their well-being. The report calls on Government and civil society to enhance societal understanding of the concept of gender equality and effective gender mainstreaming to ensure that both males and females enjoy equal opportunities in all spheres; economic, political and social spheres.