By Christabel Airo
President Uhuru Kenyatta has commended Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization for its frontline role in fighting for women’s rights in Kenya.
The President noted that MYWO has grown to become a bastion of civil society, championing initiatives that have changed women’s lives for the better.
“I believe the lives of women in Kenya and the communities they live in are, currently, immeasurably better thanks to the MYWO’s bold and consistent actions over the decades,” Uhuru Kenyatta said.
Speaking today during the virtual Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Annual General Meeting where he also launched the organization’s national water harvesting project.
The President said that he was happy MYWO is complementing Government efforts to achieve the objectives of Vision 2030 in the area of water and sanitation.
“The Vision 2030 blueprint aims at ensuring that every woman in a household at the grassroots level gets a water tank for safe, clean, and reliable water for domestic use,” the President said and directed the Ministry of Water to partner with MYWO to ensure the success of the program.
Besides, He appreciated the training MYWO offers women on smart agriculture to enhance food security at the household level, saying it supports the Big 4 Agenda on food security.
“As you are aware, Food and Nutrition Security are one of the Pillars of my Administration’s “Big Four” Agenda. I chose to focus on food security because a Nation, which cannot feed its people, is not worth its name,” Uhuru said.
On BBI, President Kenyatta emphasized that it proposes significant gains for women and urged them to support it.
“Through BBI, Kenya is re-imagining our nationhood and envisioning a nation where tribe, gender, age, ethnicity and religion are no longer factors for division but rather drivers of unity within diversity,” President Kenyatta said.
He appreciated the contribution of MYWO in curbing female genital mutilation (FGM), a cultural trait considered primitive.
“Your efforts as an organization and other like-minded organizations made it easier for the Government of Kenya to enact the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act (2007) and established the Anti-FGM Board,” he said.
President Kenyatta also took the opportunity to urge the MYWO to use its position of influence at the grassroots to advocate for continued observation of the Ministry of Health’s anti-COVID-19 guidelines and protocols.
“As Women, you know you are great influencers of social behavior; therefore, as Government, we look to you as our partners in securing Kenya from this pandemic, and all our other social and economic challenges,” he said.
Public Service and Gender CS Prof Margaret Kobia said MYWO continues to participate in national development by providing an effective model for improving the quality of life for families and communities.
“The framework facilitates the Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization to collaborate with other Government agencies to create synergy for development for the realization of Kenya Vision 2030,” Margaret Kobia said.
MYWO Chairperson Rahab Muiu pledged her organization’s support for the ongoing constitutional reforms saying the BBI process will herald a new national dawn of unity, peace and prosperity.
She said MYWO is ready to support the process by offering civic education and support required at the grassroots level. Other speakers included Maendeleo ya Wanawake patron Phoebe Asiyo and the UNFPA Country Representative Ademola Olajide.