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Gov’t supports Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organisation

The government will continue to offer organisational support to Maendeleo Ya Wanawake (MAYO) as it works towards realization of Kenya’s Vision 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ministry of Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizen Affairs and Special Programmes Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia recognized efforts made by the organisation in marshalling grassroots women and supporting government in implementing and coordinating policies regarding women in leadership, economic empowerment, eradication of gender based violence and efforts to end Female Genital Mutilation in the country.

“I want to applaud the current National Executive Council and the Organization’s governing body for committing to strengthen governance and the focus of the organization to great prosperity,” she noted.

Speaking during the 70th Anniversary of the Organisation in Kakamega, Prof Kobia said through the contribution of the organization, Kenya has improved on the Gender Development Index.

The CS noted that according to the Gender Development Index that measures a country’s access to education, health, life expectancy and wellbeing, Kenya has improved from number 118 in 2018 to position 95 in 2020 out of 186 countries that were evaluated.

“Part of this success can be attributed to the work that is done through MAYO, over the past five or so decades several women through MAYO have had an opportunity to lead and have had tremendous contribution in this country and beyond,” she noted.

CS Kobia together with Sports, Culture and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed graced the occasion that has seen tremendous growth of the organization’s membership to more than four million.

CS Amina noted that Maendeleo ya Wanawake is a strong institution with a clear vision that is responding very well to the needs of its members.

She said the organization has groomed women leaders, its pioneers and trailblazers whose courage in leadership paved the way and gave hope for more women to seek leadership positions.

Amina said the President has also been supportive in creating an enabling environment to encourage participation of more women in decision making in the country.

Some of the celebrated icons include Mama Ngina Kenyatta, Dr Jane Kiano, Phoebe Asio, Professor Julia Ojiambo, Senator Zipporah Kittony, Mrs Joan Muchomba.

“In their leadership roles, they conducted themselves with dignity, professionalism and uphold decorum,” she said.

Women of Firsts, CS Amina said were the likes of Nyiva Mwendwa, who was the first Kenyan female Cabinet Minister, Effy Owuor who was the first Kenyan female State Counsel, High Court Judge and Judge of the Court of Appeal.

The CS noted that Koki Murungi who is the first female pilot in Africa, licensed to fly Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Elizabeth Marami, first female Marine pilot in Kenya are giving hope to many women who thought they could not make it.

The distinguished roles played by female trailblazers like Justice Joyce Aluoch ,Professor Wanjiru Kabira, Julia Ojiambo, Phoebe Asio, Zipporah Kitony among others.

“Advocating for gender equality and women empowerment. All these women played a great part in opening doors for the current crop of women leaders and granting us a seat at the decision making table,” Amb Amina noted.

To continue the legacy and support made by pioneers of the organization, Maendeleo Ya Wanawake leadership has signed partnerships with Equity Bank, Dumu Tanks and Musoni Microfinance Organization to provide water tanks to grassroots women across the country.

MAYO targets to reach out to four million households to access water tanks through affordable credit facilities by December 2030.

So far, MAYO has delivered 145 tonnes of water tanks and harvested 700 000 liters through the organization’s National Water Harvesting Project.

Water tanks have been delivered in nine counties, Nyeri, Nyamira, Migori, Kitui, Meru, Machakos, Makueni, Homabay, Kajiado and Kericho.

“In complementing the Government effort in the Big-4 Agenda especially on Food Security, Vision 2030 on water and sanitation, MAYO in November 2019 in partnership with Dumu tanks and Musoni Microfinance launched a National Water Harvesting Project aimed at ensuring that every woman at the grassroots household in Kenya gets at least a 10 000-litre water tank to harvest rain water that is safe, clean and reliable for domestic purposes,” said the National Chair of the Organization Rahab Mwiu.

She said the project goes hand in hand with training women on Smart Agriculture towards achieving food security at the household level.

She added that the partnership between MAYO, Equity Bank and Dumu Tanks was finalized on 15th January 2021 and to date over 2,000 women have been trained on financial literacy, digital literacy and entrepreneurship.

By Moses Wekesa

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