The Functions of the National Gender and Equality Commission in Kenya

The National Gender and Equality Commission is an independent constitutional Commission. It was set up through an Act of Parliament in August 2011.

It succeeded the Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission according to Article 59 of the Constitution.

The National Gender and Equality Commission derives its mandate from:

  • Articles 10, 27, 43, 59, and Chapter Fifteen of the Constitution; and
  • Section 8 of the National Gender and Equality Commission Act (Cap. 15) of 2011.

Article 10 provides for the national values and principles of governance. They include human dignity, equity, social justice, inclusiveness, equality, human rights, and non-discrimination.

Specifically, Article 27 of the Constitution sets out the principle of equality and freedom from discrimination. It states that, every person is equal before the law and has a right to equal protection and benefit under the law.

The main objectives of the National Gender and Equality Commission are to promote gender equality and freedom from discrimination.

The Functions of the National Gender and Equality Commission

The functions of the Commission in Section 8 of the National Gender and Equality Commission Act 2011 are as follows:-

  • To promote gender equality and freedom from discrimination in accordance with Article 27 of the Constitution;
  • Monitor, facilitate, and advise on the integration of the principles of equality and freedom from discrimination in all national and county policies, laws, and administrative regulations in all public and private institutions;
  • Act as the principal organ of the State in ensuring compliance with all treaties and conventions ratified by Kenya relating to issues of equality and freedom from discrimination and relating to special interest groups including minorities and marginalized persons, women, persons with disabilities, and children;
  • Coordinate and facilitate mainstreaming of issues of gender, persons with disabilities, and other marginalised groups in national development and to advise the Government on all aspects thereof;
  • Monitor, facilitate, and advise on the development of affirmative action implementation policies as contemplated in the Constitution;
  • Investigate on its own initiative or on the basis of complaints, any matter in respect of any violations of the principle of equality and freedom from discrimination and make recommendations for the  improvement of the functioning of the institutions concerned;
  • Work with other relevant institutions in the development of standards for the implementation of policies for the progressive realization of the economic and social rights specified in Article 43 of the Constitution and other written laws;
  • Coordinate and advise on public education programmes for the creation of a culture of respect for the principles of equality and freedom from discrimination;
  • Conduct and coordinate research activities on matters relating to equality and freedom from discrimination as contemplated under Article 27 of the Constitution;
  • Receive and evaluate annual reports on progress made by public institutions and other sectors on compliance with constitutional and statutory requirements on the implementation of the principles of equality and freedom from discrimination;
  • Work with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the Commission on Administrative Justice and other related institutions to ensure efficiency, effectiveness and complementarity in their activities and to establish mechanisms for referrals and collaboration in the protection and promotion of rights related to the principle of equality and freedom from discrimination;
  • Prepare and submit annual reports to Parliament on the status of implementation of its obligations under the National Gender and Equality Commission Act 2011;
  • Conduct audits on the status of special interest groups including minorities, marginalized groups, persons with disabilities, women, youth and children;
  • Establish, consistent with data protection legislation, databases on issues relating to equality and freedom from discrimination for different affected interest groups and produce periodic reports for national, regional and international reporting on progress in the realization of equality and freedom from discrimination for these interest groups;
  • Perform such other functions as the National Gender and Equality Commission may consider necessary for the promotion of the principle of equality and freedom from discrimination; and
  • Perform such other functions as the Constitution and any other written law may prescribe.
Vision Statement of the Commission

A society that upholds gender equality, dignity, respect, and fairness for all.

Mission Statement of the Commission

To effectively and efficiently promote gender equality and freedom from discrimination of all persons in Kenya.

Core Values of the National Gender and Equality Commission

The core values constitute shared beliefs and principles that guide the work of the National Gender and Equality Commission. These beliefs and values are essential and must prevail because they define the culture of the Commission. They are:

  • Fairness: Treat all people with dignity and impartiality;
  • Transparency: Act in an open and  responsible manner;
  • Accountability: Take responsibility of all omissions and commissions when executing its mandate;
  • Respect for Diversity: Value opinions, circumstances, feelings and views of others, taking into account diversity;
  • Inclusiveness: Facilitate the involvement of all stakeholders in its affairs; and
  • Integrity: Promote honesty and truthfulness.

For more about the the National Gender and Equality Commission, visit their website at ngeckenya.org.

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