The Principal Secretary State Department of Broadcasting and Telecommunications, Esther Koimett has urged women to invest their time and resources wisely to enable them reap positive rewards.
Koimett who was speaking during the NCBA bank International Women’s Day Dinner at a Nairobi hotel said people who invest in wrong things end up reaping negative rewards.
She at the same time advised women to encourage young girls to always accept who they are and never to worry about falling short of people’s expectations.
“There is the temptation when you are young, you to want to achieve everything tomorrow. You want to be like Sheila Mbijiwe or Martha Karua right now but they have walked a long distance to get to where they are,” she advised, saying that good things take time and they should be prepared to take time to accomplish their goals.
She said the higher a person rises up the ladder the more they will be expected to make decisions, on the basis of which they will be gauged in years to come.
“The outcomes of some of those decisions may be taken in bad faith, especially for those of us in the public sector. Clearly document your decisions and have a record that stands for you and when bad things happen, they will realise that they happen for a reason. It could be to change your trajectory, to guide you to something better,” she advised.
Koimett at the same time lauded men who are always happy to help women grow, mentor and expose them to different situations to grow their skills and experience.
“Accept that men will always see you as a woman. This can make it difficult to get your voice heard. But if you know your stuff and do not rely on tokenism, eventually they will see your value and you will get acceptance. So, know your stuff,” said Koimett.
She also advised ladies to refrain from taking things personally and bringing emotions to the workspace since men do not know how to deal with such situations.
On family issues, the PS told women to make wise decisions when choosing spouses as the choice they make is that of a life partner.
The PS urged men to treat their wives well as daughters will accept the treatment that they see them giving to their mothers.
Koimett said, “Support your daughters in their ambitions and very importantly, be a good role models for your sons. Our boys seem rudderless at the moment and this may be because they lack the right models,” adding that a society rises and falls on the calibre of its men and urged them to set the right examples to the young men.
She said it is important for each couple to recognise the value of family, as they are the ones who will be at hand in times of need saying that when there is harmony in the family, life is easier for both partners.
“Give God His place in your life, whatever you conceive God to be. Without a solid spiritual foundation, you are likely to flounder. Rely on God for guidance on matters that are beyond your ability to handle,” she stated.
She at the same time urged NCBA to set the right skills and get the best people to enable the organization have better result in performance.
The PS said Kenya has made great strides on diverse, equity and inclusivity regarding women empowerment however, there is need to continue pushing forward as there is much more that needs to be done.
“At the time I completed Secondary School, the most natural opportunities for women were limited to secretarial, nursing and teaching careers. It was beyond anyone’s thinking that a woman could, and in fact should, strive to be more than these,” said Koimett.
The PS said the limitations were not done out of malice, but from a genuine belief that they were not proper careers for women to get into as a woman was biologically aligned to be a nurturer and a care-giver.
Koimett said to date the country has women holding key positions among them singling out Major General Fatuma Ahmed in Defence and Captain Koki Mutungi in Aviation among other male dominated fields which she noted is testament to how far Kenyan women have progressed.
“The laws of our country, through the 2010 Constitution of Kenya, have ensured that this agenda is given proper attention and it is important that we acknowledge and celebrate our wins so far,” she stated.
The event was attended by the Group Managing Director, NCBA Group, Mr John Gachora.
By Bernadette Khaduli