23-year-old Journalism major Ms. Janes Ombok (above) is the Kenyan winner of the World Bank funded 2018 #Blogs4Dev contest. In November 2017, citizens of the three East African nations of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, between the ages of 18-28, were invited to describe to the World Bank what it would take to end gender-based violence (GBV) in their countries. The eight winners from the three countries were chosen from hundreds of what Ms. Diariétou Gaye (World Bank Country Director for Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Eritrea) described as “the outpouring of innovative, feasible solutions from young men and women who want to end this human rights crisis.”

The World Bank launched the writing competition four years ago, as a way of testing creativity and innovation among young people, who will also be tasked with describing scalable solutions in no more than 500 words. The contest has also provided young people an opportunity to participate in the formulation of policies that tackle prevalent challenges.

Gender Based Violence can rightly be described as an epidemic - estimates indicate one in every three persons across the globe are affected. It encompasses all forms of violence that are physical or sexual; forced and child marriages; human trafficking; female genital mutilation, as well as discrimination based on gender.

The eight bloggers have been invited to join the World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington D.C. from April 16 -22, where senior government, private sector, civil society and academic officials gather to hold conversations with the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG). Subsequently, they will be offered opportunities to share their thoughts, on preventing Gender Based Violence to senior government officials in the three countries.