NEWI Forum in Kisumu Girls High School
NEWI Forum – 1st October. Venue: Kisumu Girls High School
Mrs Eve Obara is not only a distinguished CEO but has a heart for the girl child and the downtrodden in the society. Through NEWI-The Women’s Initiative in Education, which she co-founded with Dr. Mark Matunga of Microsoft Corporation, they continue to influence lives and empower girls in Education.
This year, NEWI will host the International Day of the Girl, which is a movement set out to speak out against gender bias and advocate for girls’ rights. The event, to be held in Mfang’ano Island in Homabay County, is crucial because it is the inaugural celebrations.
The theme of the day, “Ending Child Marriage,” could have not come at a better time considering that child marriage has continued to violate the rights of many girls in rural communities in Kenya. This has been costly to the society as it has disrupts their education, jeopardized the health of many, and denied them their childhood, thereby limiting opportunities in their life.
NEWI, which enjoys a membership of more than 600 professionals, mainly women, who have championed education for girls through various interventions including mentorship, counselling and material support, is championing the campaign to end the harmful practice of child marriage.
According to Mrs Obara, “a society that does not pay regard to the girl and her education, is a society built on quick sand.” This perhaps illustrates the values, upon which NEWI was founded, the desire to establish a firm foundation for the future of the nation. She adds, “Only through girls’ full and equal participation in society, starting with quality education, can we hope to achieve equality and fundamental freedoms for the girl”.
According to Dr. Mark Matunga, NEWI is committed to aiding girls in rural village’s access quality education. “We call upon all stakeholders to work hard to ensure all girls access education,” he says. He believes, given equal opportunities, girls can perform better in school. That way, society shall benefit more from their contribution to the social economy.
It is indeed sad, that for every million girls not in school, over half are girls, an indicator that the society is yet to achieve gender equality that would enable girls engage in all spheres of their lives. October 11 has been designated by the UN General Assembly as the International Day of the Girl Child following a spirited campaign by a global coalition of partners led by the Canadian government.
The ceremony in Mfang’ano will seek to promote girls human rights, highlight gender inequalities that remain between girls and boys and address various forms of discrimination and abuse suffered by girls in Kenya. The Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) vice chairman, Lilian Mahiri-Zaja will be the Chief Guest.
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