It is time to raise the scales of preventive and punitive measures for sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers. An unequivocal message needs to be sent to every member state and troop contributing countries that only personnel who see the protection of human rights as their mission will continue to serve as UN peacekeepers.
That advocacy drive by the Government of Kenya and UNFPA has culminated in an innovative project that is now being implemented in six of the forty seven counties with the highest maternal and child deaths.
With over 70 percent of Kenyans aged below 30, we are at the cusp of a demographic dividend. For this dividend to become a reality, Kenya will have to surmount some formidable challenges, none more exigent than the empowerment of its women.
The beneficial link between female education and lifetime health has never been in doubt; a better-educated girl takes better control of her life. She has healthier and fewer children.
It is time for every man to start doing something to end the scourge of violence against women and girls in their homes and communities.
Kenya is one of the countries where maternal health is still lagging far behind. Kenya has a tremendous opportunity to do even more to help women and children have better healthcare, and so improve their lives.
Marginalization combined with internecine conflicts, pockets of extremism, poor human development and cross border terrorism have trapped so many of Mandera's people in poverty and misery.
For many women in Mandera County a hard to reach, insecure and arid part of North Eastern Kenya, the story of life from childhood to adulthood is one about sheer pain and struggle for survival.
Kenya, is at the cusp of a "demographic dividend," which could transmute Kenya's fortunes in the first half of the 21st century -- but only if the country takes the right steps towards investing in the current youthful population.
Kenya is preparing to host a summit to counter violent extremism in June 2015. A timely and vital initiative by a country reeling from tragic terror attacks.
This county needs doctors, teachers and other public servants more than any other. If more of these professionals leave Mandera, the people will suffer, especially women and girls.
Consider this: Nashiru, a practitioner of female genital mutilation (FGM) in a Maasai community in Kenya, says, "Cutting girls is something our people have done for hundreds of years. No one can convince us that it is wrong."