Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organisation, a women’s NGO that deals with issues to do with women’s rights and gender equity in Kenya is pushing for more strategic leadership positions in the next government.
This is aimed at powering up economic devolution as it begins countrywide celebrations to mark its 70th anniversary.
The organization which boasts of over 4 million members across the country has endorsed the Azimio La Umoja Coalition for the next government.
The organization’s leadership has affirmed while it has the capacity to influence the outcome of the presidential elections, Women must be placed in positions where they will be able to make greater contributions in governance and political revolution.
“We will give them votes. It is these women who will cast their votes for Azimio but these women need to be paid,” said Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organisation Chairperson HSC, Rahab Muiu.
She spoke at Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega County where the organization held its first nationwide celebrations. Other celebrations will be held in Central, Eastern, Nyanza,Coast, North-Eastern, Riftvalley and Nairobi regions over the next two months.
“We’ve heard there is going to be economic devolution. It has to start with women,” said Muiu.
Over the last 7 decades, several women have had an opportunity to lead and have made tremendous contributions in the country and beyond.
Among these women recognized by the Ministry of Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes include current active members, patrons and leaders of the organisation such as Her Excellency, Mama Ngina Kenyatta, Dr. Jane Kiano, Hon. Phoebe Asiyo, Grace Onyango-first Kisumu Female Mayor, Dr. Julia Ojiambo, Hon. Sen. Zipporah Kittony, Mrs. Joan Mjomba, Mama Shitaka.
“These are the pathfinders who broke the glass ceiling and, on whose shoulders, we stand on today,” said Ministry of Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia.
Prof. Kobia has credited the country’s improved access to health, education and life expectancy and wellbeing to these trailblazing women leaders.
“Part of this success can be attributed to the work that is done by Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organisation,” said Prof Kobia.
According to the Gender Development Index that measures a country’s access to education, health, life expectancy and wellbeing (WEC 2020), Kenya has improved from position 118 in 2018 to position 95 in 2020 out of 186 countries evaluated.
Kobia paid a special tribute to the women pioneers and trailblazers who have continued to lead the organisation in ‘a very challenging environment.’
Sports Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador Amina Mohamed called on the country to start building systems and developing pro-women policies that will protect women and ensure equality and gender representation. “We must now revisit and do away with the remaining challenges affecting women and systems that are no longer helpful to us,” said Ambassador Amina.