Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programmes Cabinet Secretary, (CS) Prof. Margaret Kobia, accompanied by Ministry officials and women leaders visited Former Cabinet Minister, Nyiva Mwendwa, at home in Gigiri, Nairobi, Friday, to award and recognize her role in the empowerment of women in the Country.
Nyiva is among the women aged over 70, who have been selected as Trailblazers for the immense contribution they have made to Kenya’s political, social and economic development.
The former Minister for Culture and Social Services, is among the country’s veteran female political leaders and the first woman in the country to be appointed as a full Minister in the former late President Daniel Arap Moi’s regime.
While awarding Nyiva at her home for her distinguished leadership in promoting the rights of women in the country, Prof. Kobia said the Trailblazers Awards and Recognition Programme was launched in 2018 to recognize women’s contribution to development through leadership, education and innovation among other fields.
“There is a need to honor women who have contributed greatly to the Country. Having the right political leadership that appreciates the role of women is very important,” said Kobia.
She stated that the Ministry of Public Service will continue supporting programs that recognize and acknowledge both men and women, adding that the First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta, is planning to create an institute to honor the legacy and works of various leaders.
The CS urged women leaders to leave a legacy for the future young leaders to learn and contribute more to the Country.
At the same time, Prof. Kobia called upon women to focus on issues concerning health, economic empowerment, gender based violence and environmental preservation.
“I am urging all women to speak in one voice for the sake of development of this great country,” stressed the CS.
Kitui County Governor, Charity Ngilu, who had accompanied the team recognized Nyiva Mwendwa as a role model to women who aspire to be leaders in the country.
Ngilu said women are capable of acquiring leadership roles through unity and respect among one another.
Echoing the words of Prof. Kobia, the Kitui governor appealed for the setting up of institutions for training and mentoring young minds, and urged leaders to continue teaching and reminding women of their responsibilities to the country.
In her appreciation remarks, Nyiva said her journey has not been easy due to the traditional customs that affected women in the past.
She was, however, thankful to God for not only being able to acquire education, but also assisting more women to pursue education.
“Much has been done but not enough. We should give opportunities to not only men but also more women,” said Nyiva, and called upon leaders to consistently monitor the progress of women as it will benefit the country.
Trailblazer’s representative, Zipporah Kitonyi, said that women are part and parcel of the development of the country, a need that requires both men and women to be given equal opportunities.
Kitonyi also urged women to be more proactive in knowing what they want through peaceful consultations with the relevant stakeholders.
She also appealed to parents to take responsibility in mentoring young children since they are the future of the Country.
By Manu Mumba