According to a report launched earlier today (08/07/2011) at the Hilton Hotel by the UN Women, justice remains
out of reach for millions of women all over the world.

The report recognizes the progress made in some countries which guarantee gender equality
in their constitutions. Though much has been achieved in the public and private spheres in the last century, discrimination
and gender injustices remain prevalent with inequalities existing at home, workplace and in public life.

Kenya has a National Policy on Gender and Development which recognizes the needs of all its citizens regardless of
their gender to access equal opportunities. The Policy asserts the need to adopt equity as a goal between men and women.

Speaking during the launch, the Minister for Justice National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs Hon Mutula
Kilonzo said that attention should be focused on issues that matter most in the lives of women and their families such as maternal health care, access to
education and the chance to enjoy basic legal and human rights.

He cited as gross injustice the fact that women and children continue to die from preventable and treatable diseases
while other die from violence they are subjected to in their homes. Mutula said that anyone found practising female genital mutilation would face legal consequences.

The Minister commended the Kenyan woman for her role she plays in the community and in taking care of her family despite the numerous challenges she faces.

“However, the greatest challenge even as we continue in pursuit of justice for women, is to give a voice to women everywhere whose experiences go unnoticed, whose words go unheard.”

Meanwhile, speaking during the same forum, the Minister for Gender Children and Social Development Hon. Naomi Shaban, said that her ministry has put in place mechanisms to ensure that women
are empowered.  She agreed that the laws governing family matters restricted women’s legal and human rights and that woman were unable to challenge these injustices because of cultural and
practical constraints.

“The Kenya government and the UN are working to end these injustices through a strong partnership that strives to effect local and cultural changes,” she said

To ensure that justice becomes a reality for all women, The UN women called on the government to repeal laws that discriminate against women, support innovative justice services, put women
on the frontline of justice and invest in justice systems that will respond to all of women’s needs. The UN Women Regional Director Elizabeth Lwanga called on
governments, civil societies and women to mobilize for true equality.

“Over the coming months and years, UN Women will be focusing on strengthening intuitions, organizations and women, to address inequalities and injustices that prevail and hinder women’s progress,”
concluded Lwanga