The Ministry of Defence celebrated the International Women’s Day, presided over by the Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ambassador Dr. Monica Juma alongside her counterpart from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Mr Keriako Tobiko at Ngong’ Forest as a build up to national events on Monday, 8 March 2021.
Themed “Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World” the Ministry of Defence adapted the theme as “Choose to Change” in line with the ministry’s gender mentoring programme to celebrate women in the security sector.
The venue of the event was deliberate as the celebration included a tree planting exercise that saw over 2000 seedlings of varied tree species planted.
In her address, the CS said that the event aimed at commemorating the International Women’s Day in a special way by honoring Mother Nature. She recognized the immense achievement of girls and women around the world in influencing and shaping a more socially inclusive, just and better world.
“Our focus today, is a global imperative to restore the balance of nature. In our country the aspiration is to achieve a 10% forest cover by 2022. This means that each one of us must make tree planting and nurturing a necessity in everyday events. There is no small, no insignificant action,” said the CS Defence.
She added the MOD, has contended with issues as diverse as defence and security reforms, complex peace support operations, civil emergencies, environmental degradation and their effects, as well as the integration of gender perspectives in military.
“To effectively leverage the successes of the gender policy launched in 2017, MOD strives to be a thought leader in furtherance of the role of women in peace and security and to bring stakeholders together to dialogue on increasing leadership roles that confront especially the women in KDF,” she said.
CS Keriako Tobiko, lauded the efforts by the military personnel to restore the degraded forest land and also for adopting forests such as Kibiku, and Ngong Forest. He further called on the CS Defence to adopt more areas under the Kenya Defence Environmental Soldier Programme.
“KDF has adopted a shift in its approach to ensuring security and I could like to commend them for finding environment as a security footprint. There will be no country to protect if the environment is destroyed,” Mr. Tobiko Said.
The Assistant Chief of Defence Forces in charge of Personnel and Logistics (ACDF P&L) Major General Fatuma Ahmed, reiterated that the International Women’s Day was set apart to, among many other things, audit and remind the world of gender parity in various sectors.
“It is also a day when we pause to reflect on the journey to nurturing women to become leaders and demonstrate the centrality of women in protecting an enabling sustainable peace. Today we are privileged to play host to eminent members of our society and gender warriors representing diverse professional backgrounds, and with experiences on the important role that women play in these fields,” said the ACDF P&L.
In attendance were representatives from the Green Africa Movement, women from the Security Sector (Kenya Police, Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenya Forest Services) members of the Diplomatic Corps, students from Diamond School and KDF sponsored institutions.