26 July 2021, Mombasa, Kenya: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP) kicked off a four-days national workshop from 26-29 July 2021 titled Women’s Rights in Counter-Terrorism Policies and Strategies in Mombasa, Kenya. in which high-level officials from the government of Kenya (the judiciary, the executive and local governments) are represented; in addition to representatives from civic organizations which are actively involved in gender mainstreaming and women rights vis-à-vis preventing violent extremism and counterterrorism.
During the opening session, Mr. Daoud Alwan the Head of Counter Terrorism Pillar, speaking on behalf of the IGAD SSP Director, Commander Abebe Muluneh, thanked the Government of Kenya for facilitating and hosting this important event. Mr Alwan also welcomed the participants and thanked them for their commitment in spite of the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
ISSP Counter Terrorism Pillar Head seized this opportunity to note the multi-faceted roles played by women and girls in terrorism and conflict-driven contexts as sympathizers, mobilizers, perpetrators, victims, or preventers of acts of terrorism. He also stressed that such diversity of roles and status should be reflected in the inception, development and implementation of effective policies, strategies, and programs to address the scourge of terrorism at local, national, regional and international levels.
Ms Jane Wairimu Kario, Deputy Director of the Peace and Security Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kenya welcomed the participants and thanked IGAD SSP for organizing this important and timely forum for Kenyan institutions and actors both from the State and Civil Society segments in charge of mainstreaming gender while promoting and protecting the human and fundamental rights in Counter Terrorism environment. The official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kenya emphasized the need for policymakers and practitioners working on terrorism prevention to understand the specificity of women roles in preventing or perpetuating terrorism.
IGAD SSP planned this national workshop to provide a unique forum for relevant national actors engaged in responding to counterterrorism related issues to share their expertise and experience and reflecting on their challenges in integrating gender dimension into policy development and programming in all national counterterrorism activities.
The workshop is also convened in order to enhance cross-learning experience on Kenya’s pioneering commitments in mainstreaming Women’s rights and gender concerns in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of its main policies, laws and programs in combating and preventing terrorism.
One of the primary aim of the workshop is to take stoke of Kenya’s efforts in this area while revisiting and assessing the implementation by Kenya of international, regional, and national frameworks and instruments.
The majority of the participants are women selected from the National Counter Terrorism Center, Ministry of Gender, Kenyan Parliament, the Judiciary, the Office of the Public Prosecutor, the National Police Service, the National Intelligence Service and leading national and local NGOs in the area of Gender, Women Rights and Security.
Among the mandate of the IGAD Security Sector Program is enhancing institutional and human capacities of Member States to effectively address emerging, evolving, and existing transnational security threats (EEE-TSTs) in order to contribute to regional peace and stability, and foster enabling environment for regional integration and development of the sub-region, under which this training was conducted.
The training was conducted with the financial support from the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) through the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) under the IPPSHAR Program. [END]