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Mama Rachel Ruto advocates for widows’ rights

The First Lady, Mama Rachel Ruto, has urged all stakeholders to work together to ensure that widows’ rights are prioritised, including the right to information on access to a fair share of inheritance, land and productive resources, pensions and social protection.

This will enable widows to be economically empowered to support their families and participate in national development.

The theme for the 2024 celebrations, “Accelerating the Achievement of Gender Equality”, focuses on the urgent need to ensure that widows, like all other Kenyans, are recognised for their resilience and significant contribution to our society as we work towards achieving gender equality in the nation.

H.E. Wilbir Otichilo, Governor of Vihiga County, has asked higher education institutions to conduct a study to understand the factors that lead to the high male mortality rate, which has seen the number of widows rise to 37,000. The county will also develop a policy guideline on how to deal with widows and widowers in the county.

Ann Wangombe, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Gender and Affirmative Action, reiterated the government’s strong commitment to improving the welfare of widows in the country through several policies, including the National Gender Policy and the National Policy on Elimination of Gender Based Violence, which comprehensively address the rights of widows.

Ms Harriet Chigai, Gender Advisor in the Executive Office of the President, acknowledged the efforts of various national government agencies that participated in a sensitisation programme in the county in preparation for the celebration of World Widows’ Day.

The First Lady also reaffirmed the National Government’s commitment to working with partners to create a Kenya where widows are not only remembered but empowered.

Other guests in attendance included Hon. Beatrice Adagala, Member of Parliament for Vihiga County; Hon. Clement Logova, Member of Parliament for Sabatia Constituency; Hon. Wilberforce Kitiezo, Deputy Governor of Vihiga County; Felix Watakila, County Commissioner for Vihiga; Dr Diana Kamande, CEO of Come Together Widows and Orphans Organisation (CTWOO) and other national, county and partner governments.

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