Your Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta

All Roads Lead to the Nairobi Summit!

Your Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta,

We are all excited and jubilantly anticipating the Nairobi summit (12-14 November) to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Program of Action (PoA) of The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The whole world will march to Nairobi to celebrate 25 years since the groundbreaking conference in 1994 that declared women’s reproductive rights as human rights. We say groundbreaking because the outcome was a visionary PoA signed by 179 countries that set out to empower women and girls. From Cairo To Nairobi, we are thrilled that a quarter century later, global delegates from governments, UN agencies, NGOs, and the media will circle back to Africa, where ICPD PoA was borne. The Nairobi Summit will provide a platform to discuss the progress that has been achieved so far, the current challenges and the innovative recommendations to address them.

We are excited that the summit is being held at home because it will provide an opportunity to set the roadmap for 2030, which is the finish line both for SDGs and The Kenya Vision 2030.

The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development has explicit goals that refers to the ICPD Program of Action. These are Goal 3: Good Health and Well Being and Goal 5: Gender Equality. The specific targets are SDG 3.7 and SDG 5.6 which aim to ensure universal access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) as agreed in accordance with the ICPD PoA and the Beijing Platform for Action. Visibly, the SDGs offer a strong framework for accountability to the ICPD Agenda.

After the momentous Cairo Conference, this is a chance for us to presently self reflect on where we are on the commitments that were made 25 years ago as a country. Secondly, to leverage the unprecedented momentum gathered across the world through the various pre-summit activities. And lastly, to harness the energy and vibrancy of all the stakeholders who are marching for women and girls across the world to have a right to choose, to have a voice, to decide and to be part of decisions about their bodies and their future!

The commitment to the realization of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls continues amidst slow progress. Various legislation and policies have been enacted to accelerate the achievement of Beijing Platform of action including the universal access to SRHR. The free education program that was unveiled in 2002 has ensured that more women and girls are enrolling into school. Even further, in 2017, you recognised that attending school for girls was as important as retaining them. Thus, you signed the Basic Education Amendment Act that placed the responsibility of providing free, sufficient and quality sanitary towels on the government in order to reduce the number of girls missing school during their menstrual cycle.

We are inspired by the women who are actively engaged in political participation not only through vying for political seats but also making their voices count through voting. Additionally, harmful cultural practices are reducing with time. And we promise to hold you accountable to your government's commitment to end Female Genital Mutilation by 2022.

Your excellency, we have been keeping a close eye on the promises you’ve been making to Kenyan women and girls. 

  • Speaking at the Global Leaders Summit in September 2015, you committed to ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels.
  • On 3rd June, you BOLDLY promised to end FGM by 2022.
  • On 4th June 2019, in Vancouver, Canada you vocalised the Nairobi call-to-action, an African gender road map that, among other resolutions, seeks to mobilise resources to support the various women and girls empowerment initiatives in conflict and post conflict regions of Africa.
  • On 24 September 2019 during the United Nations General Assembly, in New York, you committed to rolling out a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) program as part of a grand plan to transform Kenya into a newly industrialized middle-income country by 2030

As we all converge at the ICPD 25, these commitments you have made to women and girls will enable us to raise our heads high as hosts. At this time, when more than ever, we are experiencing the crushing weight of pushback against women’s rights with questions of why women and girls matter. We call for you as the host to stand by women and girls as you have promised to do. To remind the world of the journey that has been and to revitalize the commitments through;

Investments and budget allocations towards realization of gender equality, women and girls empowerment including community, legal and broader programming efforts to end FGM

Sustained political leadership, commitment and declarations are critical, but sustained political leadership on gender equality is needed to ensure ending FGM and other gender related issues are prioritized

Continued investment in the realization of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, especially SDG 5 whose targets and indicators are the very heart of the ICPD Agenda.

We stand with you in your conviction that our nation stands to gain tremendously if we continue to embrace that progress for women is progress for us all.


SDGs Kenya Forum.




SDGs Kenya Forum