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Women urged to embrace affirmative action funds

Women from the pastoral communities have been urged to embrace women empowerment funds offered by the government in a bid to improve their economic status.

Speaking in Rumuruti stadium in Laikipia County, Prime Cabinet Secretary’s spouse, Tessie Musalia, has asked women to take advantage of the already existing affirmative action funds like Uwezo fund and Women Enterprise Fund to borrow and invest in income-earning activities. She donated sewing machines, beadwork equipment, computers, and beauty and salon equipment to the Baraka women’s group.

Ms Musalia added that it is important for the communities to equally empower young men in equal measures like women.

She regretted that many young men have gone into alcoholism and drug abuse.

On her part, Laikipia women’s Representative Jane Kagiri who was also present said that she would wish the government to continue supporting Laikipia women’s groups saying that the region for long has been neglected and especially on matters of women since many communities around Laikipia are patriarchal.

She promised to continue supporting the women’s group and give all women’s groups money from National Affirmative Action Funds (NGAAF).

Principal Secretary for Gender Madam Veronica Nduva whose speech was read by John Ndonji, the Assistant Director for Gender said that she was happy to see that women from marginalized groups have partnered and started economic empowering projects.

She asked women to maximize their participation in key sectors of the economy.

“The government is committed to empowering women by giving 50 percent of hustler funds to women, NGAAF funds, women enterprise funds and 30 percent access to government procurement,” read part of her speech.

Being a board member of Ushanga Kenya Initiative, Ndonji urged the members to work with Ushanga Kenya Initiative and patent their ushanga brands.

Spouse to Laikipa Governor Grace Irungu appreciated the role of women in the society and encouraged more women to indulge in economically empowering ventures.

She also lobbied for more relief food to be given to the region while at the same time calling on the government to allow the shamba system to be adopted to encourage more food production in the region.

Baraka Women Centre was celebrating 10 years. They have trained women on dressmaking, beadwork, beauty, and computer classes among others to enable women get skills to be entrepreneurs.

The group has also partnered with a drug rehabilitation center that has saved over 3000 youths from drug addiction.

Tessie Musalia donated foodstuff which had been given by well-wishers including the Ahadi Kenya Trust CEO Stanley Kamau.

By Antony Mwangi

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