Beyond Zero: The Power of Women’s Agency in Transforming Social Norms for Better Health Outcomes and Well-Being
Brief summary of presentation of information made
The event was hosted by:
- Her Excellency Mrs. Margaret Kenyatta, First Lady of the Republic of Kenya
- Ford Foundation
- Princess Mabel van Oranje, Chairperson of Girls Not Brides imitative
- Republic of Singapore
- Kingdom of Denmark
- President of Organization of African First Ladies again HIV/AIDS
- United Nations Trust Fund
- United Nations Resident Coordinator Kenya Office
Kenya in recent years, has undertaken a number of health system and financial reforms to increase coverage for quality health services, improve availability of essential medicines and reduce out of pocket payment.
Well-designed social protection systems can support the accelerated realization of gender equality by narrowing gender gaps in poverty; enhancing women’s access to personal income; and providing a lifeline for poor women.
- Universal Health Coverage is an important component of social protection particularly when conceptualised from a gender awareness lens and designed to be gender-responsive in its implementation.
- Universalism specifies that nobody should left behind. This speaks specifically to the concept of vertical equity which means that those with high needs should receive more services than others.
- Financial protection is understood to mean that people’s financial contributions towards funding health services should be according to their ability to pay. Universal Health Coverage requires that healthy and wealthy members of society cross-subsidise services for the sick, the vulnerable and the poor, underpinned by the notion of social solidary.
This event demonstrated Kenya’s leadership, commitment and investment to gender equality and the empowerment of women within the health and social sector.
Kenya’s First Lady, and founder of the Beyond Zero Initiative, has provided unprecedented leadership profiling the health and well being of women and their families. Through her high-level advocacy, a series of policy and resource interventions at the national and county government levels have been witnessed. By highlighting the specific risks over the life course of women and girls who experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination -particularly young women and adolescent girls, older women, migrant women, women with disabilities - the Beyond zero platform has advocated for inclusive and holistic social protection measures.
Beyond Zero has contributed towards interventions such as:
- An expanded resource envelope in the form of cash transfers to the elderly and those living with disabilities.
- National Health Insurance Fund package fully supplemented by the government such as the maternity Linda Mama super cover that includes prenatal, delivery and post-natal;
- Design and national roll out of the Universal Health Coverage as part of the big their priorities of the government.
- Pioneered a movement of spouses of elected leaders to venture to social causes that enhances wellness and enjoyment of rights.
What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?
This was particular interesting in that this is happening in a country where the Salvation Army has Health Centres, Vocational Training Centres and Health Education programs, the WORTHS program and the Mother and Child program.
This would be a good opportunity for the Territory to show to the First Lady of Kenya the programs that the Salvation Army already has in place and how the Salvation Army has manged them over the years. With her Beyond Zero Initiatives the First Lady could see her initiative in action from a Faith Based Organization.
Web links for more information
https://www.unwomen-usnc.org/new-beyond-zero-campaign-improve-maternal-and-child-health-outcomes-kenya - New "Beyond Zero Campaign" to improve maternal and child health outcomes in Kenya
https://www.beyondzero.or.ke/about-us/ - Beyond ZeroTags: SDG1: No Poverty, SDG4: Quality Education, SDG5: Gender Equality, SDG3: Good Health and Well-Being, SDG2: Zero Hunger