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State of Kenya population

Child marriage has negative outcomes for both boys and girls, but girls are more adversely affected by this practice because in most cases they have to leave school and begin motherhood when they are not mentally and physically ready for motherhood experience. Their lives may be threatened with disease and death resulting from pregnancy and child birth. This harmful practice is therefore a threat to the development prospects because it prevents many girls from achieving their full potential and participating in social and economic activities that can improve their wellbeing.

Son preference is a product of gender-biased systems that assign and reinforce higher social status to men and boys and that favor male over female children. From a human rights perspective, gender-biased sex selection is a harmful practice because it translates a preference for boys over girls into a deliberate prevention of female births.

Ending discrimination against women and girls is not only an inalienable human right but the key to the social progress and economic development of Kenya. GBV and harmful practices such as FGM and child marriage are hindrances to achieving gender equality. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Goal 5 on Gender Equality, cannot be realized if progress is not made in this area.

Clearly, the propagation of harmful practices stands to prevent Kenya from achieving a demographic dividend and the noble goals set in the Kenya Vision 2030, Big 4 Agenda, Population Policy for National Development, and the ICPD25 Kenya country commitments among others. It is therefore imperative that harmful practices be publicized and ad- dressed with a view of ending them.

Finally, the National Council for Population and Development hopes that this report will prove to be a useful resource to all the actors in the population sector involved in efforts to end all harmful practices thereby putting the country on track towards to achievement of her development goals and improve the quality of life for all citizenry.