Domestic violence, land ownership and lack of empowerment mechanisms have been cited as major challenges facing women in Nakuru County.

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Even as women and other partners gathered on Friday at the Shabab Social Hall grounds in Nakuru west to mark this year’s International Women’s Day, there’s still more that needs to be done to address the challenges facing women.

Regina Saitoti from Ogiek People’s Development Program said the day is a plus to them since it was first time they participated in marking International Women’s Day.

She said women from Ogiek Community have been sidelined for many years in such functions.

According to Saitoti, despite the landmark ruling by African court in Arusha Tanzania that recognized them as an indigenous group to stay in Mau Forest and conserve it, they are yet to receive title deeds.

She adds that this has seen their husbands engaging in conflicts with the officers from Kenya Forest Service leading to arrests.

This has led to violation of women rights in the community as families are left hopeless.

“We have really suffered as women from the Ogiek Community. Today we are not celebrating this day because we have seen development but we are celebrating because we have our husbands and children and we now calling on the government to ensure the recommendations of the Arusha ruling are implemented," she said.

Joyce Wambui from Siafu Women Self Help group says despite the many opportunities from government, women are yet to be empowered.

According to her there is a need for more mechanisms to address the challenges facing women.

“I appeal to women that let us join groups that we can use to empower ourselves,” she said.

Nakuru County Woman Rep Liza Chelule, who attended the function, said women MPs will push for the two-third gender rule.

“This is a very paramount day and as you all know the bill on gender failed in parliament but we shall push after 6 months as per the law. I call upon Nakuru women to ensure they take up their positions as per the constitution in terms of leadership,” said Chelule.

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