Partner Highlight: Monica Oguttu, Executive Director of KMET (Kisumu Medical & Eduction Trust) - Equality Now

Partner Highlight: Monica Oguttu, Executive Director of K-MET (Kisumu Medical & Eduction Trust)

My greatest joy and inspiration comes from talking to women and seeing them realise their potential.

-Monica Oguttu

Equality Now, with the support of The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is currently implementing a project titled the ‘Gender Justice Project- Driving SDG 5 Accountability in Kenya’. The project, which will be implemented over three years, is being rolled out in six Counties in Kenya: Busia, Kajiado, Kisumu, Kwale, Nairobi and Narok. The Project seeks to uphold women and girls’ rights and drive Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG5): accountability by eliminating harmful practices such as Female Genital Mutilation; child marriage (SDG5.3); sexual violence (SDG5.2); and addressing discrimination (SDG5.1) through a multi-sectoral approach.

In order to achieve the desired results, Equality Now partnered with six renowned, well established and highly impactful organizations, across the six target Counties, to enhance awareness on the need to end sexual violence; end harmful practices; and increase the capacity of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to hold national and county government to account while contributing to a wider discourse on the implementation of the SDGs. One of these partners is Kisumu Medical and Education Trust (K-MET), an organization based in Kisumu, Kenya. Our Communications and Advocacy Officer, based in Nairobi, recently spoke with their Executive Director, Monica Oguttu to discuss the Gender Justice Project and the work of K-MET.

What motivates you?

Empowering the ordinary woman in such a way that she knows her rights and is able to translate these rights is very fulfilling. My greatest joy and inspiration comes from talking to women and seeing them realise their potential. Women come to us for consultation on various matters and when we see the milestones that they have made, it drives us to empower them even further.

What excites you about this project?

The fact that we will work with different partners in safeguarding the rights of women and girls in Kenya is very exciting for me. It feels like we will be lighting up the country from our various work stations across the country while pushing for gender equality. In addition, this project will present us with a great opportunity to amplify our work considering that we are all dealing with girls and women who are at risk.

What are some of the problems that the project will solve?

This project will go a long way in advancing the rights of women and girls at the community level. It will also amplify their voices and ensure that they are heard and not forgotten. With the slogan ‘Leave No One Behind’, we will be able to bring together different stakeholders including policymakers, law enforcers and other non-state actors as we continue championing for the rights of women and girls.

I also see this as a great platform for women to be included in the decision making processes.