KU-WEE Hub holds advocacy workshop with line Ministries, Departments and Agencies

Participants pose for a group photo following the advocacy workshop

Many MDAs are currently developing or reviewing some of their existing policies, hence the need for continued dialogue

The Kenyatta University Women’s Economic Empowerment (KU-EE) Hub, engaged government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in a workshop to discuss gender data. The half-day workshop held at the La-Mada Hotel is part of a larger Advocacy strategy aimed at engaging in county and national level dialogues to not only disseminate but also advocate for the uptake of generated evidence. This is in line with the Hub’s research approach that seeks to go beyond generation to application of gender data in the formulation and implementation of Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) policies and programmes across government levels in Kenya and beyond.
In total, there were eighteen representatives from different ministries, including those from the State Department of Basic Education, the State Department of Higher Education and Research, the State Department of Tourism, the State Department for Gender and Affirmative Action, the State Department for Public Service, the State Department for Industry, the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA), the Public Service Commission (PSC), the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC), the Kenya Institute for Curriculum Development (KICD), the Tharaka Nithi County Government and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
In her opening remarks, the KU-WEE hub Leader, Prof Judith Waudo, emphasized the importance of quality data production and use. The workshop was officiated by the Vice-Chancellor Kenyatta University, Prof. Paul K. Wainaina, who was represented by Prof. Caroline Thoruwa, Ag, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Innovation and Outreach (RIO). Prof. Thoruwa read the Vice-Chancellor’s remarks, in which he noted that despite arduous efforts, there are still substantial disparities between research, policy, and practice. These gaps are exacerbated by a lack of understanding of how researchers can produce more valuable work, how practitioners can obtain and use that work effectively, and how policymakers can foster the conditions necessary for both to happen. He urged researchers to strengthen their stakeholder engagement to ensure that they share findings at every stage of the research. This way, stakeholders will understand the goal and own the evidence generation process, and in turn help develop a strong advocacy strategy.
Hub Researchers shared the findings of the ongoing studies from the three thematic areas, namely: Women’s Roles in the Public and Private sectors, Women’s Skilling and Mentoring, and Violence, Crises and Women’s Work.
The advocacy meeting revealed the need for doing comparable, more focused workshops with the MDAs. The majority of MDAs are currently developing or reviewing some of their existing policies, so it is necessary to continue the conversation with them in order to inform them of the inferences drawn from research being conducted at the KU-WEE Hub so that these findings can be utilized to inform policies.
It also revealed the need to engage more with county governments to inform them of the study findings and adopt the findings in the policy development process.
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