State backs fund to increase women leaders

Thursday November 15 2018

Democracy Trust Fund

Youth and Gender Affairs CS Prof Margaret Kobia (second left) and Echo Network Africa Group CEO Jennifer Riria (second left) are joined by women leaders during the launch of Democracy Trust Fund in Nairobi on November 14, 2018. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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The government has welcomed an initiative seeking to create a fund to help women seeking public office in order to increase their numbers in political leadership and other sectors.

The Democracy Trust Fund (DTF) by women’s empowerment organisation Echo Network Africa (ENA) was launched on Wednesday night by Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia.

“This initiative to help and encourage more women into positions of leadership in the public sector is a reflection of the importance with which the government regards women's empowerment, and my ministry has welcomed it wholeheartedly,” said Prof Kobia.

She added that ENA is pushing the boundaries for women's leadership to expand space for them at decision -making levels. “This is in line with the Trailblazers (the programme recently launched by the Gender ministry to honour pioneer women leaders),” said Prof Kobia, told the gathering, which included women leaders from various sectors and the fund’s patron, Dr Jennifer Riria. who is also ENA’s Group CEO

Dr Riria, who was also honoured in the Trailblazer’s programme, said her initiative to help women pool their finances is aimed at encouraging them to participate and contribute in leadership and increase their much-needed numbers at the top.

“Through DTF, ENA hopes to use its experience spanning over 30 years of advocating for women’s financial inclusion as well as its huge network of more than one million women with whom the institution plans to build a formidable and credible program,’’ Dr Riria, also founder of women’s banking, Kenya Women Finance Trust said.

She explained that the trust fund, which she described as unique to programs of a similar nature, would take a participatory approach.

The event also saw 23 women leaders recognised for their service to society, and their stories documented in a book, "Women Changing the Way the World Works", which was also launched by Prof Kobia at the event.