A validation training, which scrutinized Kenema District Planning and Budget Manual by both City and District Council members and stakeholders from a gender perspective, has concluded over the weekend at the District Council Hall.
The manual was developed by the Kenema District Economic Recovery Programme (KDERP) in collaboration with the government and stakeholders.
The objective of this tripartite initiative between the Government, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Development Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is to consolidate the current planning and budgeting cycle with participatory and gender equitable approach in Kenema- where men and women can participate equally in the planning, budgeting and implementation process.
UNDP’s Deputy Country Director (DCD), Samuel Habour, affirmed that “the training is basically to equip local councils with the tools that they require to ensure that our planning and budgeting process are gender sensitive and that they could respond to the needs of either sex within the community.”
Participant, Alfred Roberts remarked that he is appreciative of the initiative, as “gender issue is a global concern for development, and so if it is being incorporated into the development agenda of Kenema, equal opportunities would be shared among men and women,” he said.
“This would also serve as an opportunity for women, who are more venerable, to be able to chase the development pace of their male counterparts,” he said.
Ward Secretary, Nicolas Kowa explained that the integration of gender equality in local development is paramount as it would “help women to make meaningful contribution towards the development of the community,” he said.
UNCDF Senior Technical Adviser, Ronald McGill, disclosed that, “the traditional power structures and the traditional relationship between men and women is the key to the challenge confronting us”.
By Ophaniel Gooding