President Uhuru roots for women empowermentKSG-admin
By Douglas Mochama, Irene Kechem and Stella Wairimu
President Uhuru Kenyatta has commended the Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization for their immense contribution to the betterment of lives of Kenyan women and communities at large.
This, according to the Head of State, complements efforts by the government to achieve the objects of Kenya’s Vision 2030 blueprint in notable deliverable key among them being water and sanitation.
The President, on Tuesday December 15, 2020, in a virtual Annual General Meeting of Maendeleo Ya Wanawake led in launching the Maendeleo Ya Wanawake National Water Project. The event was organized by the Ministry of Public Service and Gender in collaboration with the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA).
He appreciated the effort of the Organization in training being offered to women on smart agriculture, as it would enhance food security at the household levels. Further, the President singled out Maendeleo Ya Wanawake’s contribution in the First Lady’s Beyond Zero initiative terming it a significant boost to universal health coverage.
“You have been vibrant, at all levels of society, especially at the grassroots. Indeed, you choose not to talk the talk but also walk it. Your collective efforts have made women in Kenya enjoy greater economic empowerment and independence, more than your sisters in the region and beyond,” he commended as he rooted for heightened efforts to protect the widows.
The Head of State went further to drum support for the Building Bridges Initiative saying it envisions a cohesive and united nation.
“I want to urge you to unequivocally and emphatically support this process where women also gain directly and indirectly through the gains secured for the youths and, for persons with disabilities,” he affirmed.
The event which was successfully hosted by the School campuses in Lower Kabete, Baringo, Mombasa and Embu and transmitted live brought together members of the Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization (MYWO) across the country in marking this year’s Annual General Meeting.
In her welcoming remarks, the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service and Gender Prof. Margaret Kobia noted that MYWO has actively participated in national development programs such as women empowerment.
“The framework facilitates the Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization to collaborate with government agencies, to create synergy for development for the realization of Kenya Vision 2030,” noted Prof. Kobia.
The CS commended President Kenyatta for supporting the organization from grass-root to the national level.
“I have witnessed the strengthening of the institution in terms of respective governance for better service delivery to the members,” confirmed Prof. Kobia.
The Organization was registered seventy years ago. Over the years, it has been able to associate with 25,000 affiliates as well as draw membership of about four million women. The organization was solely formed to unite women socially, economically and politically so that they can deal with day-to-day challenges that confront them in the society.
The United Nations Populations Fund Country Representative Dr. Ademola Olajide had this to say: “Maendeleo as an organization is firmly embedded within community systems in Kenya, and they have, over decades, been able to inspire and catalyse significant milestones in politics, the economy and social cohesion.”
He disclosed that women account for about 50 per cent of the population or slightly more, and that they give birth to the other fifty. Terming the organization a formidable force, Dr. Ademola singled it out as a vehicle to midwife desirable societal changes.
Addressing the President during the event, Dr. Ademola noted that the country stood to benefit from the robust initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality.
“We have gone around Kenya, implementing intergovernmental framework promoting gender equality. To implement programs at the national, county, and community levels, to address gender-based violence; and of course, to catalyze and speed up the process to end FGM by 2022 as you have compelled us. We will work in lap step, with the government and with partners to take this agenda forward until we can create that Kenya, where male and female can optimally contribute to the national agenda and the national vision,” said Dr. Ademola.
Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Chairperson Mrs. Rahab Muiu, noted that within the Capital City, the Nairobi Metropolitan Services had reduced the cost of running a household by providing free water to informal settlements.
Also present at the colorful occasion, with a total of 764 women delegates, was Ms. Phoebe Asiyo, the Patron of Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization. Ms. Asiyo recounted the humble beginnings of the organization and said she was thankful for its growth and the milestones that had been achieved.