Members of the European Parliament delegation, representatives of the European Commission and the EU Delegation to Kenya attending the Nairobi Summit on ICPD + (25-year anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development), wish to highlight and commend the work, commitment and courage shown by Kenyan and African civil society organisations working tirelessly to assert the rights of women. These rights include access to universal health care, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and education.
They underline the need for all of society, including men, to address and put an end to practices that undermine or do harm to women, girls and young people. In this context, the signatories to this statement welcome the strong commitment made by the President of Kenya and community leaders across the country to give further effect to the 2011 law against Female Genital Mutilation, seeking alternative and non-violent means to fulfil girls' rites of passage.
Civil society organisations and community leaders play a pivotal role in fostering a societal consensus on these rights, which also extend to the right of every individual to decide freely and responsibly on matters relating to his or her sexual rights and health, free from discrimination, coercion and violence.
Crucially, it its proven that gender equality, where it exists, helps to boost national GDP – on average by about 30% – and is therefore an essential step towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Kenya, as well as the Government's goals, in the interest of all Kenyan citizens.