On Tuesday 15th December, 2020 , H.E. President, Uhuru Kenyatta issued a keynote address during a virtual Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Annual General Meeting and launch of the National Harvesting Water Project.
In his address, President Uhuru Kenyatta commended Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization (MYWO) for its frontline role in fighting for women’s rights in Kenya. He noted that organization has grown to become a bastion of civil society, championing initiatives that have tremendously changed women’s lives for the better, especially at the grassroots level.
“I believe the lives of women in Kenya and the communities they live in are, currently, immeasurably better thanks to the Maendeleo ya Wanawake’s bold and consistent actions over the decades,” the President said.
The project which is expected ensure that every household at the grassroots level in Kenya receives a 10,000 litres water tank to harvest rainwater that is safe and clean for domestic use, has today been launched in Kajiado, Homabay and Kakamega counties.
Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia thanked the President for the support he has provided women over the years.
“Your presence here this morning to engage with women leaders from 47 counties, is a testimony that your government cares,” she said.
Prof. Kobia said that Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization has actively participated in national development programs through National and County Government Gender Sector Working Group framework. The framework, she noted, enables the organisation to collaborate with other Government Agencies to create synergy for development as well as providing an effective model for improving quality of life for families and communities.
UNFPA Country Director, Dr. Ademola Olajide appreciated the role of Maendeleo ya Wanawake in women empowerment. He pledged to work with all organisations to reach out to the boy child in order to sensitise and educate on the role and importance of women in society from an early age.
Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Chairperson, Mrs. Rahab Muiu noted that within Nairobi city the Nairobi Metropolitan Services had reduced the cost of running a household by providing free water to informal settlements.
“Every household uses 80 liters of water daily which amounts to KES. 200/- but NMS is now providing the water for free,” she said.
Also present at the colourful occasion was Hon. Phoebe Asiyo, Patron, Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization. Hon. Asiyo recounted the humble beginnings of the organization and said she was thankful for the growth of the organization and the milestones that had been achieved.
Maendeleo ya Wanawake is a national membership Non-Governmental Organization established in 1952 to empower women socially, economically and politically to enable them deal with the unique challenges that face them in the society.
MYWO was first organized by the Department of Community Development and Rehabilitation within the colonial government. In 1958, the leadership of the organization was turned over to African women and Hon. Phoebe Asiyo was appointed as the first African woman to chair the organisation.
Today, MYWO boasts of a nation-wide network of over 4 million individual members and 25,000 affiliate groups.
A total of 764 women delegates were present at the virtual occasion today and accessed the live stream at State House from Kenya School of Government branches at Nairobi, Mombasa, Baringo and Embu.
By Jacqueline Kirimi