Women in Kakamega have joined hands through the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) to empower the girl child with an aim of improving their education standards.
FAWE which has been operating from its national office in Nairobi, recently launched county offices to spread its impact to women and girls up to the grassroots level.
Kakamega branch was opened in December 2021 with Dr Caroline Mulinya acting as the County FAWE Chair.
Speaking to KNA on Sunday Dr Mulinya said they have lined up activities including mentoring girls and women, providing sanitary towels and influencing policy changes to favour women from the county.
She said they will also incorporate men in their advocacy campaigns, especially bodaboda riders, to participate in securing the future of girls. The group consists of 30 women leaders.
“We have a role to play to sensitize our men to help our girls to achieve their dreams by not being a hindrance. I want men to be part of FAWE for it to succeed,” she added.
Dr Mulinya, who is also a lecturer at Kaimosi Friends University College, said education standards in Kakamega have declined unlike in the past when schools like Mukumu Girls, Butere Girls and Bunyore girls among others were household names.
She said parents from as far as Nairobi were competing for spaces to have their children secure admission to form-one at those schools unlike today.
Dr Mulinya noted that the bottom-line lies with policies introduced both at the National and County Assemblies calling for more women to seek elective positions to influence policy changes to empower women and girls.
“We have few women professors from Kakamega County, few elected women MCAs and no elected woman MP from Kakamega county apart from woman Representative Elsie Muhanda which makes it hard to push for policy formulation favouring women,” she noted.
In Kakamega, out of 89 Members of County Assembly (MCAs), only four women are elected with 25 women nominated out of the county’s 60 Wards.
The don noted if more women are in positions of making policies, then it will be easy to advocate for empowerment of more women and girls.
“Most of us want to work as role models among women and girls,” she noted.
Dr Mulinya who is FAWE Kakamega county chair, was appointed on an interim capacity alongside Mrs. Zuhura Wangare who serves as the secretary, Mrs Getrude Wanga as the Treasurer and an Organising secretary.
By Moses Wekesa