By Eunice Kilonzo
President Uhuru Kenyatta has promised to address opportunities for more women to get in power, education for all children and an end to female genital mutilation.
Mr Kenyatta was responding to a question on how he was going to use his power during the opening of the four-day Women Deliver 2019 Conference in Vancouver, Canada.
“I want to be able to continue giving opportunity to women where they can show that they can deliver just as well as men. That focus I will keep on with,” he said on Monday at the opening panel of the largest gathering on gender equality.
Mr Kenyatta sat side by side with Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia and women activists.
He added: “The second is education; to ensure that no child is out of school and every single child is through primary and secondary education… this will show that these girls have an opportunity over and above just doing household chores at home and looking after their brothers.”
According to global campaign group Girls Not Brides, more than one in five girls in Kenya are married before their 18th birthday.
The third thing is ending FGM in Kenya by 2022, he told more than 8,000 world leaders, advocates, academics, activists, and journalists from 165 countries.
The conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre ends on Thursday.
The conference theme is on power, and how it can drive or hinder progress and change, how societies must redefine the concept of power and use it as a force for good.
His host, PM Trudeau, shared efforts and progress made in levelling the playing field for women to take on leadership, well aware of the challenges they experience.
“Women, unlike men, have reservations about taking up political office. We need to reach out as allies and empower women, break the barriers and get them to run (for public office),” he said.
President Kenyatta concurred and affirmed his belief in women as equal partners.
“It’s not been easy, but we’ve made a start. The question is how do we break down the sometimes cultural and religious obstacles that women have to face? One way is creating opportunities so that you can show that women actually can deliver,” he added.