Governor Waiguru leads county in celebrating women’s day as she drums up support for BBI
Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru on Monday led the county’s women in celebrating the International Women’s Day at Kerugoya Stadium.
The event which was attended by over 2,000 women drawn from across the county was graced by Homabay Women Representative, Gladys Wanga, Kajiado East Member of Parliament Peris Tobiko, Current Deputy Chief Whip of the senate Farhiya Haji, Wajir Women Representative Fatuma Gedi, The Chairperson, Commission of Administrative Justice, Florence Kajuju and members of the young women leaders caucus-Daughters of the Mountain.
The celebrations also incorporated live broadcasting of the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta as she delivered her International Women’s Day message.
Governor Waiguru said that women had made incredible contributions in the world but their stories are rarely told, thus the day created a forum to acknowledge and tell their stories of sacrifice, strength and determination. She urged all women to support each other and thanked those who blazed the trail including former Gichugu MP Martha Karua who set ground for Kirinyaga people to have faith in women leadership.
Governor Waiguru who is the Chief Patron of Daughters of the Mountain, promised to stand with other women and mentor upcoming women leaders saying that it is the only way to have more women representation. “We must hold one another and lead by example so that others may follow” she said. She noted that being one of the only two female governors in Kenya, she is committed to uplifting the status of women in her county whereby 62% of the County Government workforce is made up of women while many of the county’s development projects which are implemented through the Kirinyaga Rising Vision are geared towards socio- economic empowerment of the county’s women. She enumerated her development record for the past three years noting that she has remained focused on delivering her promise to the people of Kirinyaga which can be seen through transformation in the agricultural, health and infrastructural sectors.
In agriculture, she said her administration was supporting community groups-many of which are made up of women- to carry out a mass egg production project that is earning them extra income. She added that she has constructed 11 modern markets for traders and also built extra maternity wards to enhance maternal and child care in the county.
The governor urged Kirinyaga residents to support BBI as it will ensure that women are well represented at all levels of governance and will also bring more resources to the county which will now get an allocation of Ksh. 8 billion up from the current Ksh. 4.8 billion. “The additional funding enable us realize more development which includes giving better support to our children’s education through improved bursary allocation” she said.
She observed that women have suffered disproportionately through the Covid-19 pandemic since they are already at a disadvantaged position, whereby they have the most vulnerable jobs, less money and their small businesses are less resilient to economic shocks.
The governor also launched Covid-19 vaccination program with two healthcare givers -a female and a male- being the first ones to receive the jab. The county has received the first 3,000 doses of the 6,000 set apart for the frontline workers.
Homabay Women representative, Gladys Wanga, said that Governor Waiguru’s women empowerment record dates back to the time she was the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution where she steered the establishment of the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF) which now enables County Women Representatives to carry out development programs.
She appealed to all women to support BBI since it will give them more representation at various levels including in the senate. MP Peris Tobiko praised Kirinyaga residents for electing a woman governor noting that Waiguru had delivered more development in the past three years than many of her male counterparts. Wajir nominated senator Fatuma Gedi said that Governor Waiguru has mentored many women and has been in the forefront in fighting for gender equality. She observed that Waiguru’s transformational development record spoke for itself and she was now fit take up any of the top national leadership positions.
Kirinyaga County Kanu Chairman, John Gathugu, said that the people of Kirinyaga are very proud of their governor’s performance citing the massive transformation that has taken place in the county including the mega hospital complex and the cabro paving projects in Kerugoya town that have completely changed the face of the town which is the county’s capital town. He also urged Kirinyaga residents to support BBI since it will unite Kenyans and bring many more benefits to the citizens.