It refers to policies and actions that enhance the capacity and opportunities for the poor and vulnerable, to improve and sustain their livelihoods and welfare. The policy looks at poverty in an integrated and coordinated manner, gives priority to reduction of extreme poverty and advocates the provision of cash transfers for those who cannot support themselves. The policy has been informed by international and local experiences. The Ministry has divided it into Community mobilisation and development, and gender and development.
Community mobilisation and development
This division is charged with the responsibility of mobilising self- help groups and projects, building capacity for community and group leaders, to coordinate registration of self-help groups and conflict resolution and to monitor and evaluate community development Projects. The Government formed the division of community development to empower communities through mobilisation; formation and registration of self help groups. From 2010 to the end of 2011, 43,741 groups had been registered.
The division also trains group leaders who in turn train other people in the community. In 2010, 108 leaders were trained, meeting their target of 100. Some 250 were trained in 2011.The division was allocated Kshs80 million in both the 2010/11 and 2011/12 financial years.
Gender and development
The core function of this division is to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment through mainstreaming in national development, promotion and protection of sexual and reproductive rights of women, men, boys and girls, supervise and monitor the imple mentation of the Women Enterprise Fund, coordination of the development, review, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of gender policies, programmes and projects. They are also required to coordinate the production and analysis of sex- disaggregated data for gender and social development planning and development.
Their key programmes are gender mainstreaming, sexual and gender based violence, women’s economic empowerment, women’ s participation in decision making and governance processes and monitoring and evaluation. The Government established a national task force for gender and education, a ministerial task force on girl’s education and a gender desk in all public institutions. The main objective of these task forces is to recommend mechanisms for implementation of the national education for all (EFA) strategies.
The Government, in conjunction with the development partners, has also developed strategies and implemented various initiatives to further enhance education for the girl-child and women in general. Some of the initiatives include the National Plan of Action, Education For All (EFA) 2003- 2015, the Sessional paper No. 1 of 2005 and the Kenya education Sector Sup- port Programmes (KSSP) 2005-2010).
In an endeavour to reduce incidences of gender-based violence, the Government is in the process of enacting the Family Protection Bill that seeks to address domestic violence and its adverse effect, particularly on women and children. There are three pending family Bills to protect the rights and welfare of women—the Family Protection Bill, Marriage Bill and Matrimonial Property Bill of 2009 —which seek to ensure equal distribution of property to both men and women.