Empowering Women and Girls: A Journey in Garissa County

In the heart of Garissa County, amidst the vibrant community of Kamuthe, something transformative is happening. Supported by Irish Aid through ActionAid Ireland, the Women Rights Programme implemented by ActionAid Kenya and Kamuthe Women’s Rights Network is igniting a beacon of hope for women and girls in the region. This week marked a pivotal moment as we joined hands with local partners on the ground for a field visit, delving deep into the impactful Women’s Rights Programme.

ActionAid Kenya and ActionAid Ireland teams, along with community members, engage in a vibrant dance celebration. The welcoming dance embodies the spirit of unity and collaboration. Men and religious leaders, serving as catalysts for positive change, joyfully participated alongside us.

The journey began with a commitment to enhancing safety, security, and economic empowerment for women and girls. This commitment, backed by ActionAid Kenya and bolstered by the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders, is reshaping the narrative of gender equality in Garissa County.

During the field engagement in Garissa, a significant honour was bestowed upon the team, a courtesy visit to Garissa County’s C.E.C Gender, Hawa Abdi Sahal. This meeting symbolized the convergence of visions and a shared dedication to fostering collaboration and partnership for the betterment of women and girls in the region.

“There has been considerable improvement in women’s and girls’ rights in Garissa County. Ten years ago, the space of women was limited, but combined efforts from various stakeholders including ActionAid have made women and girls in my community have a voice.” Stated Hawa Abdi Saha

Hawa Abdi Saha, the County Executive Committee (CEC) for Gender in Garissa County, graciously welcomed us during our visit to her office in Garissa County.

At the core of ActionAid Kenya’s initiatives lies a strategic investment in women living in poverty and exclusion. Through amplifying their voices and shifting power to them and their institutions, real change is taking root. The programmes implemented in Garissa County are not just projects; they are pathways to empowerment, channels through which dreams are nurtured and potentials unlocked.

In every corner where we are implementing the programme, the impact is visible and tangible. From skill-building workshops to advocacy campaigns, from economic empowerment initiatives to community dialogue sessions, the ripple effects are felt far and wide. Women and girls are not just beneficiaries; they are active participants, and architects of their destiny.

“I have benefitted a lot from the Women Programme in my community. As a widow, I have benefitted from information about the need to educate my girls and protect them against FGM. I have also benefited from skills that have enabled me to engage in mat-making and tailoring. This has enabled me to provide food for my children and support them in school.” Mwanajuma Islam.

Mwanajuma Islam skillfully knits mats, which she sells to generate income for her family’s support.

The journey towards gender equality is not without its challenges. Yet, in the face of adversity, resilience shines through. With each step forward, barriers are dismantled, stereotypes are shattered, and opportunities expanded.

Together, ActionAid Kenya, ActionAid Ireland, and their partners are building a future where every woman can thrive. The journey is ongoing, and the road ahead may be winding, but the destination, a world where women and girls are empowered, is within reach.

As we reflect on this journey in Garissa County, let us remember that empowerment knows no bounds. It is not confined by geography or circumstance but flourishes wherever there is dedication, collaboration, and a steadfast belief in the inherent worth and potential of every woman and girl. Join us as we continue this journey, a journey toward equality, justice, and empowerment for all.

From Left: Lina, Nisha, Cillian, Josphine, CEC Hawa, Grainne, Pauline and Zamzam during the engagement at the CEC Gender offices in Garissa County.

Author: Ezra Kiriago ,Communications Coordinator ActionAid Kenya.

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