Promises and Realities: Taking Stock of the 3rd UN International Women’s Conference

This book seeks to provide substantive reflection on the extent to which the governments of Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya have delivered on the national and international commitments to East African women. The book relates NFLS and BPFA to eight key areas: Human rights and
social justice; governance, sexual and reproductive health rights; education; environment; the Media; the Arts; and young women. The first chapter, written by Jacinta Muteshi-Strachan, charts the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies, which provided the framework that defined the gender inequitable nature of women’s lives, the necessary inter-related approaches to be undertaken; and the combination of resources and support required from governments, organisations and donors to deliver gender equality. In the next chapter, Wanjiku Mbugua acknowledges that tremendous ground has been covered in the recognition of women’s rights as human rights. A key area in the discourses on women’s rights has been governance. Maria Nassali’s chapter
acknowledges the strides that have been reached in giving women “voice” in decision making at different levels. Sara Ruto proposes that the biggest quantitative gains for women and girls have been registered within education. Unlike other sectors, there has been unity of purpose by national governments in keeping true to the promises delivered to girls in Nairobi, Beijing and a host
of international meetings. In the chapter by Patricia Kameri-Mbote, the link between gender and environmental management is explored. In this chapter, Sarah Mukasa addresses the sexual and reproductive health rights of women. She analyses that due to varied concerns such as high maternal mortality and increased rates of
sexually transmitted infections including HIV, governments, civil society organisations and other actors have gradually expanded focus from preoccupation to women’s fertility to addressing wider issues of their health and sexuality. Grace Musila’s analysis of Women in the Arts, using the case of Kenya, shows how gendered politics and patriarchy continue to be contested via the arts. Colleen Morna’s discussion reveals dissatisfaction with advances in gender and media work. Saida Ali reminds us that young women have become key participants in women’s movements.
She proposes that young women have been more vibrant in the women’s movement rather than the youth movement.The book concludes with a chapter on tools for gender analysis and gender mainstreaming
developed by L. Muthoni Wanyeki.