Across the planet, a myriad of affirmative action projects have long been coming up and Kenya is not in any way different. Several groups have been on the forefront in pushing for women empowerment. In 2010, the new constitution made women’s empowerment a priority with its clause on county women’s representative. The result is promising given the rising number of women leaders and the ever increasing number of girls in school enrollment. Entrepreneurship is taking shape with a majority of women taking lead. Tour business centers and markets, and you’ll be stunned by the high number of women present, some with babies tied on their backs while haggling over prices. However, the general outcome is not satisfactory, though. Key business sectors and industries remain a domain for men. Women’s voices have been missing in the policy and decision-making processes, especially those affecting women’s lives in Kenya and across the continent. This was Dr. Wanjiru Kamau- Rutenberg’s observation while doing her dissertation research on women’s rights in Kenya, that later prompted her to start Akili Dada, an incubator that she foresaw could nurture and prepare young women leaders.
Women’s voices have been missing in the policy and decision-making processes, especially those affecting women’s lives in Kenya and across the continent. This was Dr. Wanjiru Kamau- Rutenberg’s observation while doing her dissertation research on women’s rights in Kenya, that later prompted her to start Akili Dada, an incubator that she foresaw could nurture and prepare young women leaders.
Since its inception back in 2005 with the intent to address the under-representation of women in leadership positions in Africa, it has done great for the girl community. Primed as a leadership incubator that nurtures the next generation of African women leaders, it has gone forth to offer scholarships, mentoring, and leadership training to high-achieving young women from under-resourced backgrounds who are passionate about social change. Positive stories have been birthed. High profile women personalities have joined forces to nurture and groom the next generation of women leaders. The initiative has gone to win accolades and awards both locally and internationally, with the beneficiaries blazing a trail in their different areas of engagement.
Among its popular programs is the annual fellowships. The fellows’ program awards year-long fellowships to young women leaders engaged in social change projects of their own. The program provides financial, intellectual, mentoring, and networking resources to young women as they grow their projects to scale and sustainability. The other programs include the young women leadership development, a component that provides young women the space to learn from other practitioners in a diversity of fields.Career preparedness helps recent university graduates attain the skills and networks they need to thrive as they enter the job market; the young change makers and the Washa social impact summit.
This is one amazing initiative that young girls in schools and colleges need to follow closely.With the prevailing sponsor mentality, it is great to learn transformative initiatives have come to provide women and girls a noble and respectable path. Should Akili Dada come knocking at your college or school, it is my sincere plea that girls to embrace them wholeheartedly, learn from them and make the best of such opportunities to their betterment and that of the society.
Article courtesy of Capital Campus