County government sensitizes Kirinyaga residents on financial inclusion to avert GBV

The County Government of Kirinyaga is carrying out community dialogues on financial inclusion as a way of reducing cases of Gender-Based Violence (GBVE) in the county.

The forums that are targeting community opinion shapers across both genders ahead of the oncoming International Women’s Day(IWD), are aimed at creating awareness among the county residents on how to better manage financial issues in families in order to avert conflicts that at times escalates to grievous levels.

Led by the County Executive Committee Member for Gender and Youth, Millicent Nyawira, the forums delved into pressing issues surrounding financial inclusion, property succession, new economic opportunities, and the urgent need to empower and protect women.

The CEC said that the topics in discussion were in line with this year’s IWD theme “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress” since women in the county disproportionately suffer from financial inequalities in families.

“We have been speaking with both women and men on financial literacy emphasizing on matters such as economic empowerment, proper inheritance and succession planning to mitigate conflicts within families,the CECM emphasized.

She said that the forums have been teaching the importance of proper inheritance and succession planning by encouraging parents to dialogue with their children and be open about all the property they have as a family, and the best way to share it equally and fairly.

Evans Muriithi, an opinion leader and a participant in a public dialogue held in Baricho subcounty, expressed gratitude for the initiative, stating, “We are happy about this exercise as we are getting knowledge and support on how to manage and invest our money to have stable homes,he said.

On succession disputes, Muriithi noted that in Mount Kenya,there are countless succession conflicts which are mainly due to ignorance and lack of proper planning. He appreciated the County Government’s effort for championing GBV issues in an inclusive manner that incorporated men.

The CECM said that Governor Anne Waiguru is committed to implementing sustainable interventions for GBV in the county. She said that the County government is putting up a GBV Recovery Center at Kerugoya Hospital which will soon be commissioned. The governor has also been implementing an economic empowerment program-Wezesha Kirinyaga- that has been funding groups to undertake income generating activities for sustainable livelihoods.

The dialogues were organized in partnership with Rainforest Alliance, whose representative, Elizabeth Njenga said that it hasheavily invested in empowering the community in understanding market opportunities available in the county and encouraging farmers to diversify their sources of income from tea and coffee farming to other agricultural ventures.

Njenga also shed light on the challenges faced by women, including barriers to financial inclusion and succession due to patriarchal systems.

“The main issues affecting women include succession as the system is still very patriarchal, and it is mostly men who own the land, thus women find it difficult getting financial inclusion or even loans, she said.

Another leader, Jennifer Muthoni, emphasized on the transformative potential of the dialogue, stating saying it would help families grow healthier financially. She noted that financial instability leads to restlessness and conflicts among family members while division of family properties lead to infighting in families.

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