International Women’s day – Contributions of women to nation building

Painting of a Kenyan woman. Image by Kenya art diary

Women have always been the backbone to a nation’s growth. No one can underestimate the power that a woman holds. No matter the title, from Mama Mboga who has to wake up early by 4 a.m. to get fresh produce and supplies to sell throughout the day to the First Lady of the Republic of a country, women are our everyday heroes.

In a speech made by His Excellency concerning the International Women’s Day Celebrations, President Uhuru Kenyatta recognizes the role that women have played in liberating our nation. He says, “Over the decades, we have made great strides in gender equality and the empowerment of Kenyan women. But the journey is far from over. ”

Painting of a Kenyan woman. Image by Kenya art diary
Painting of a Kenyan woman. Image by Kenya art diary

We shall never be done in commemorating the achievements of women in our lives, be it our mothers, aunts, grandmothers. The contribution that these women have made in building and serving our country is enormous and cannot go to waste. Below are some examples of these women:

1. Ambassador Amina Mohamed is one of the most powerful women not just in Kenya but also the world in general. She is the first African to be the chair of The WTO (World Trade Organization) and also the first woman to hold that post. She hosted the global trade round at the 10th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2015. This was one of the most successful conferences so far. She is the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya.

Between 2011 and 2013 Amina Mohamed was the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). She was a key player in the post 2015 development process in the UN, serving as the special advisor to UN general secretary Ban Ki-Moon. She has worked with the Dispute Settlement Body, the International Organization for Migration as well as President of the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime. She has worked more than 30 years in the field of development both in the public and private sector. She has also received the National Honours award of the order of the federal republic in 2006.

2. Serving as a judge in the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Justice Joyce Aluoch is a lawyer and former judge of the High Court of Kenya. Last year Joyce Aluoch was elected as the First Vice-President of the court for a period of three years.

She is the First Chairperson of the Committee of African Union Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and was the Vice-Chairperson of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child from 2003 to 2009. She has also largely contributed to the promotion of the rights of the child, as chair of the African Union Committee of Experts on the Rights of the Child, preparing the rules of practice and procedure for the committee as well as guidelines for initial reporting to the African Committee by Member States of the African Union.

3. Branded as one of “Africa’s Top 20 Youngest Power Women” by Forbes, Isis Nyong’o Madison has made her mark scaling media and digital businesses across the continent over the past decade. She is a media and technology leader in Africa as a principal at strategic advisory firm Asphalt & Ink. She was previously the MD of Africa for InMobi, the world’s largest independent mobile advertising network.

Isis is also the founder of mumsvillage, a website that focuses on parenting. She previously worked for Google and MTV in Africa. She has become quickly recognized as a global thought leader on mobile advertising in Africa.

4. Julie Gichuru is not only an entrepreneur and African media personality, she is also a household name in many parts of the country and a role model to many young women in the country. She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Arimus Media Limited, a production house focused on quality AFRICAN content, and Mimi Holdings Ltd, a fashion retail business that focuses on creating platforms for authentic fashion designs and trends as well as setting the pace for the fashion industry in Kenya.

With over 15 years in the media, she has set a footprint worth emulating with her work across the fields of broadcast, print and digital media. She is the first African woman to receive the Martin Luther King Salute to Greatness for advocacy of non-violence following the 2007 election in Kenya.

5. The late Prof. Wangari Maathai’s legacy began way before her efforts in environmental conservation were recognized when she was awarded the Nobel Peace prize. Wangari Maathai was the first African woman to be honored for her work in ensuring the protection of the environment, democracy and peace through the Green Belt Movement.

Wangari Maathai was beaten and tortured alongside other activists. She never waived in her passion to ensure that future generations would be able to enjoy the beauty that nature has to offer and her legacy is one that has empowered a whole new generation of women to take actions that benefit their communities and the planet.

There are many other great women in this nation. We have just mentioned a few. There are still more great efforts needed to empower women, especially in developing countries. The Kenyan woman has in recent years made strides in making a name for women as game changers not just in the corporate level but also where it all begins from, the home.

Check out other great women we are celebrating today in this article  International Women’s Day – Kenyan Women Contributions In Literature.

Which fabulous women are you celebrating this International Women’s Day?

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