Background Information

Previously, gender issues were handled under a division in the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development; and as a directorate under the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. The Department derives its mandate from the Constitution of Kenya in Articles 10, 27,60, 61, 81 and 100 among others and the Executive Order No. 1 of 2018.  Article 10 outlines the national values and principles of governance which include equality, equity, inclusiveness and non-discrimination which provide anchorage for gender equality; and Article 27 ingrains the right to equality and freedom from discrimination.

The Mandate

The mandate of the State Department for Gender Affairs as provided in Executive Order No. 1/2018 include:

  1. Gender Policy Management
  2. Special Programmes for Women Empowerment
  3. Gender Mainstreaming in Ministries/ Departments/Agencies
  4. Community Mobilization
  5. Domestication of International Treaties/Conventions on Gender
  6. Policy and Programmes on Gender Based Violence (GBV)

The functions of the State Department for Gender (SDG) are currently being executed through four technical directorates, County Gender Offices, Gender Focal Points and Administration.

The Gender Function entails:

  • Developing, reviewing, interpreting, implementation and monitoring of gender policies, programmes and plans;
  • Designing and facilitating programmes/projects that promote gender equality;
  • Coordination of gender mainstreaming into the national development agenda;
  • Institutionalization of gender mainstreaming in Ministries/Departments, Counties and Agencies (MDCAs);
  • Promotion of gender socio-economic empowerment;
  • Sensitization of stakeholders on gender related issues;
  • Monitoring the implementation of gender related funds;
  • Undertaking research on gender issues;
  • Management of the Gender Research and Documentation Centre;
  • Monitoring prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV);
  • Coordination of programmes for elimination of incidences of FGM and SGBV;
  • Development and maintenance of gender disaggregated data and management information systems;
  • Promotion of partnership with stakeholders on gender related matters;
  • Monitoring and validating impact of gender programmes and projects;
  • Negotiation, domestication and reporting on gender related international and regional treaties, protocols and conventions; and,
  • Community mobilization on gender issues.


A just, fair and transformed society free from gender discrimination in all spheres of life


To coordinate gender mainstreaming in national development planning and promote equitable political and socio-economic development for women, men, girls and boys

Core values

We are guided by the National Values as espoused by the Constitution of Kenya, 2010. These values are;

  • Gender Equality,
  • Equity,
  • Inclusiveness,
  • Diversity,
  • Gender responsiveness,
  • Team work,
  • Non-discrimination and Protection of the marginalized,
  • Social justice,
  • Participation of the people,
  • Integrity,
  • Transparency,
  • Accountability, and
  • Human Dignity

In our day to day work, we are committed to;

  • Equality and equity between women, men, girls and boys
  • Influencing institutions to effectively serve women, men, boys and girls equally
  • Building and sustaining partnerships for gender equality
  • Effective communication, knowledge generation and sharing about gender issues

The State Department for Gender Affairs has four technical directorates and one support Directorate namely:

  • Gender Mainstreaming
  • Gender Policy and Research
  • Socio-Economic Empowerment
  • Gender Based Violence and Family Protection.
  • Administration

The Department has oversight over four Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies:

  • The Women Enterprise Fund (WEF)
  • Uwezo Fund
  • National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF)
  • Anti-Female Genital Mutilation Board.

Other institutions under the Department are the Gender Violence Protection Centres and the National Gender and Equality Commission.

County Gender Officers

The State Department for gender Affairs has of deployed Gender Officers in all the Counties.

The County Gender Officers will be expected to perform the following roles among other stated activities:

  1. Coordinate all the departmental programmes and activities in the County;
  2. Liaise with stakeholders and relevant agencies on gender issues;
  3. Monitor County agencies on levels of compliance to gender frameworks and regulations; and,
  4. Prepare and submit progress reports on county programmes and projects.

General Focal Points

The Gender Focal Points will be expected to perform the following roles among other stated activities:

  1. Coordinate all the respective MDA’s gender programmes and activities;
  2. Oversee and coordinate gender mainstreaming activities in the relevant MDAs;
  3. Gather sex disaggregated data on the programmes and projects implemented by MDAs;
  4. Monitor MDAs programmes, projects, plans and budgets and report on the level of compliance to the gender requirements; and,
  5. Prepare and submit progress reports ona MDAs programmes and projects.

Enforcement Status Of 30% Access To Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO)

AGPO is an initiative that seeks to fulfil Article 227 of the Constitution on procurement of goods and services.  Under this Article, there is provision for preference in allocation of contracts as well as protection or advancement of previously disadvantaged persons, categories of persons or groups by unfair competition or discrimination. To operationalize the Article, through National Treasury Circular No.14/2013, the President directed that 30% of all Government procurements be allocated to Youth, Women and Persons with Disabilities. Pursuant to the above provisions and directive, the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015 provides for Preferences and reservations in procurement under Part XII. Amongst the provisions, every procuring entity shall ensure that at least thirty per cent of its procurement value in every financial year is allocated to youth, women and persons with disability.

Since the inception of AGPO, 45,812 tenders amounting to 50 billion shillings have been awarded to Youth (44%), Women (53%) and Persons with Disabilities (3%) owned enterprises. The Department monitors AGPO  with the aim of increasing the uptake to Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

Gender Policy Management

The following are the national gender policies that have been developed to give effect to the Constitutional provisions on gender equality.

1. National Policy for Prevention and Response to Gender Based Violence, 2014

The Policy was developed and launched in 2014 by H.E. the President. The Policy aims at strengthening coordination mechanism for effective programming, enhancing enforcement of Laws and Policies, increasing access to quality and comprehensive support services across sectors and improving sustainability of GBV prevention and response interventions.

2. National Gender and Development Policy (NGAD), 2017

The NGAD Policy 2000, was reviewed and a Cabinet memorandum has been finalized. The objective of the Policy is to provide a framework for the integration of gender concerns into the development process across all sectors in the National, County Governments and private sector policies, programmesand plans.

3. The National Equality Policy, 2017

The Policy and the accompanying Cabinet Memorandum were finalized and submitted to the Cabinet in 2016. The policy provides a comprehensive framework to give effect to the equality Constitutional principles and secure the practical realization of equality and non-discrimination. It sets out legislative, administrative and policy measures and programs intended to address the existing gaps in the realization of the right to equality and non-discrimination. It also sets out the institutional mechanisms for implementing the policy so as to ensure that discrimination is eliminated and that everyone has equal opportunities to contribute to national development.

4. Policy for the Eradication of Female Genital Mutilation, 2017

The Policy and the accompanying Cabinet Memorandum have been developed. The Policy aims at strengthening multi-sectoral interventions, coordination, networking, partnership and community participation in accelerating the eradication of FGM and to address emerging trends and practices aimed at challenges faced on enforcement of the law.

In addition to the above national policies, the ratified International and Regional treaties and conventions include:

  • Commision on Status of Women (CSW),
  • Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW),
  • Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol),
  • East African Community Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, 2016
  • Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa and
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and related resolutions.
Last Update: November 15, 2021
November 15, 2021 134 adminGender & Youth
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