The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) in conjunction with the Women in International Security – Horn of Africa (WIIS-HoA) and the Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAF), on 21.03.2023 hosted a Women in Security Conference at the International Peace Support Training Centre (IPSTC) in Karen, Nairobi. This event culminated with ‘Amani Mtaani’ football matches held on 22.03.2023 at the Humanitarian Peace Support School in Nairobi.

In line with theme “Leveraging women’s roles in an era of complex risks,” the two events aimed at fostering collaboration between security actors and local communities to promote peace and security.

In her opening remarks at the conference, Director IPSTC Brigadier Joyce Sitienei underscored the immense contribution of women in the security space terming them as peacebuilders and agents of change in the society.

She emphasized on the importance of having a gendered approach in all peace support operations as this enhances a more holistic approach to such operations without discriminating any group of people. This she said is in line with the UN Security Council resolution that positions gender equality and women’s empowerment as critical to international peace and security.

The Director also applauded the national as well as the KDF leadership for its committment to addressing and responding to the immediate and long-term needs of women in the security sector by developing and adopting the National Action Plan contained in the United Nations resolution.

“Issues impacting the country such as climate change, humanitarian disasters, violent extremism among others are priority in Kenyan National Action Plan”, she said.

Commanding General of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) Major General Jami Shawley pointed out that different security institution have developed policies and robust strategies to effect the gender policy in the operation noting that, “it is important for women to effectively engage and actively participate in all security sector-related issues”.

Ms. Fauziya Ali, WIIS-HOA president, opined that, women play a critical role in advancing peace and security in the society and harnessing their full potential requires committment, improved institutional capacity and increasing the financial and human resource in the formal, informal peace and human security sectors.

The ‘Amani Mtaani’ community sporting event held at HPSS is part of the elaborate efforts by Women in International Security (WIIS) to build synergy promoting gender equity through sporting activities.

During football event, KDF and HPSS teams played against Amani Mtaani teams that were drawn from Lamu and Garissa Communities with the matches split in women and men categories.

In the men’s category Amani team thrashed KDF team 2-0 while in women’s category Amani Mtaani team defeated KDF team 4-0.

In his speech IPSTC, Col. Guleid underscored the importance of the event noting that such events help bridge the existing gap between security actors and the society and also act as a steppingstone towards developing and achieving other significant programs that give women a platform to actively engaged in peace and security. This sporting event was graced by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kamukunji, Hon Yussuf Hassan who was also one of the key speakers at the conference held at IPSTC.

Other Key guest speakers during the conference included, Deputy Chief of Special Operations Command Centre Africa (SOCAF) , Faye Cuevas, Senior Defence Advisor, Horn Institute Brigadier (Rtd) Mohamed Ahamed, Dr. Anita Kamba from University of Nairobi, MP for Garisa Major (Rtd) Hon Dekow Barrow among others.

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