Being a woman is multifaceted. Since time immemorial women have had a great impact in all sectors. From education to hospitality and STEM, women have created a massive positive change. We therefore cannot attempt to exhaust all achievements of women in one article. Nonetheless, some highlights of magnificent women impacting the society in Kenya.
One of the major, if not the most, irking challenges that women face not just in Kenya but in most parts of the world, is reproductive health. From menstruation, sexual health, pregnancy, and childbirth, women have been short-changed in service delivery and suffered a great deal consequently. It is with this in mind that we greatly celebrate the numerous healthcare providers; Doctors, nurses, midwives, etc that have dedicated their lives to mitigate this. Numerous women have been instrumental in bringing this change, from Elizabeth Bukusi, her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, and Daktari wa Mtaa just to mention a few, have had a huge impact in attempting to bridge the gap we have in women’s reproductive health.
The onset of covid 19 exposed an issue that has been ignored for years; Teenage unwanted pregnancy. Despite the circumstances that precede an adolescent being impregnated, all young mothers require access to the best care throughout and after pregnancy. While many women have been involved in sexual education to try and prevent early pregnancy altogether, a certain group of women has been marginalized. Ironically, they happen to be the main subject of the Story: teenage mothers. Aside from the common challenges that every mother faces, these teenage mothers often have to contend with dropping out of school and having to fend for their little ones with scanty education. The government estimated that 13,000 girls drop out of school in Kenya yearly due to pregnancy. This is surely an unacceptable statistic.
We therefore greatly celebrate all women and men who put in their resources to help this group. Aside from medical needs, these young women require a great deal of social support to be able to effectively integrate into society. The Serene Haven school that was founded by Elizabeth Wanjiru is one of these. This private organization accommodates teenage mothers and their children allowing them to continue with their studies all while still taking care of their children. Volunteer social workers take care of the little ones while the mothers’ study and as small as this act may look it has a very profound ripple effect. With these mothers being educated they stand a higher chance of being economically independent in the future which makes all the difference in both their lives and those of their children.