Pomp and colour at inaugural Inspirational Women of the Year awards 2014



Friday March 7, 2014, on the eve of the International Women’s day, at the Hilton Hotel Nairobi, history was unfolding; the ballroom was filled to capacity, 49 honourees of the first ever inspirational women of the year awards trooped into the hall, resplendent in their dinner attire with a matching purple colour reinforcing the theme of the day ‘ Inspiring change’. Some from as far as Mandera , Wajir, Homabay and Turkana Counties could not hide their joy as they made their way to the reserved tables in the five star hotel waiting to be crowned Inspirational women of the year 2014.

The Tamasha entertainment troupe belted out a remix of golden oldies and a blend of new age hits, the excitement in the air was palpable. Dreams were being validated.

The International women day 2014 was being marked in a rare fete, by awarding inspirational women from the 47 counties (one from each county) who have made impressive contributions towards the empowerment of women, girls and families.The event was a culmination of a successful collaboration between the National Gender and equality Commission, Mothers and Daughters, the Hilton Hotel, the Standard Group and the support of development partners UNFPA and UNDP that saw history being made as 47 women from all the Counties rose to be honored.

The honourees were adjudged from a list of nominees of inspirational women submitted from all the counties and after a competitive and rigorous vetting, the judges submitted a list of 49 winners. Award categories ranged from fight against female genital mutilation support for persons with disabilities, advocacy for the rights of the girl child, sensitization on property and inheritance rights, peace and conflict resolution among others.

NGEC Chairperson Winfred Lichuma paid glowing tribute to the honourees saying they had a set a precedent in the history of the country. “I urge the honourees to keep the fire burning. Let these awards become a source of inspiration for renewed vigour and dedication to continue empowering the vulnerable population in the society especially women, children, youth, the elderly, minority and marginalized groups” said Lichuma

The chief guest, Runyenjes legislator Cecily Mbarire decried the abject poverty women continue to wallow in. “Women are the backbone of a country’s economy and should be empowered. We want the government to ensure that big tenders are awarded to women so that they can rise above poverty and contribute to national development” said Mbarire.

The event lived up to its billing with compliments, hearty laughs and new friends being exchanged. The awards will be given every year as part of the festivities celebrating the International Women Day.

Below is the list of all the honourees:

1. GRACE LOLIM ISIOLO Promoting peace and  conflict resolution
2. HABIBA ISSACK MANDERA Promoting human rights and eradication of FGM
3. FELICITY NYAMBURA NAIROBI Founder of Autism Kenya
4. MARIAM  HUSSEIN GARISSA Advocating for reproductive health rights
5. LILIAN PLABAN W.POKOT Advocating for elimination of FGM
6. REBECCA AKENO TURKANA Promoting women entrepreneurship
7. ZAINABU ABDALLA MURANG’A Psychosocial support for orphans and PWDs
8. RACHEL DZOMBO KILIFI Promoting community entrepreneurship
9. JUSTIN A. OBURA KISUMU Advocating for human rights for all
10. CAN. MARY NZYOKI MACHAKOS Supporting women in entrepreneurship
11. CHRISTINE M. MUTETI MAKUENI Championing land ownership for the poor
12. ANICETA C. KIRIGA THARAKA NITHI Campaigning against FGM an d promoting girl child education
13. MARY MUTHONI NYERI Assisting and counseling cancer survivors
14. LOISE BWOGA SIAYA Promoting children’s rights
15. JANE G. WAIHURA KIRINYAGA Promoting peace and conflict resolution
16. WINROSE NYAGUTHII LAIKIPIA Supporting community development
17. MUNIRA ATHMAN LAMU Fighting GBV and supporting survivors
18. KAREN N. MARUTI KAKAMEGA Promoting environmental conservation
19. DR. ESTHER C. KEINO KERICHO Educating women and children on HIV/AIDs
20. AMRAN ABDUNDI WAJIR Promoting women’s property and inheritance rights
21. LEAH SAPAN BARINGO Advocating for the rights of the girl child
22. LUCY A. OCHIENG HOMABAY Supporting girl child education
23. EVA N. LEIPA KAJIADO Supporting girl child education
24. VIOLET MBOSA KWALE Promoting the rights of the girls child
25. MARGARET MUCHENDU NAKURU Campaigning against GBV
26. TERESA OMARIBA NYAMIRA Campaigning against FGM
27. EDITH JEPCHIRCHIR UASIN GICHU Advocating for youth empowerment
28. JANE WEKESA TRANSNZOIA Promoting peace and conflict resolution
29. MARGARET NELIMA BUSIA Campaigning against GBV
30. TERESIA M. KIMANI KIAMBU Sensitizing community on land natural resources
31. BINTI ALI KIZA MOMBASA Championing women and girl’s rights
32. JEMIMAH SAINA NANDI Advocating for women’s rights
33. AGNES PAREIYO NAROK Campaigning against FGM
34. JOSEPHINE KULEA SAMBURU Promoting girl child
35. EMILY M. WESONGA MIGORI Supporting persons with disabilities
36. NANCY NDEGI NGARI EMBU Promoting the rights of persons with disabilities
37. NORMAN K. MURANG’S KISII Campaigning against FGM
38. HAKULE HUKA MARSABIT Promoting peace and conflict resolution
39. MARY HALAO TANA RIVER Campaigning against GBV
40. HANNAH W. GIATHU NYANDARUA Promoting good parenting and help for PWDs
41. PATRICIA LASOI BOMET Championing family planning
42. ROSEMARY WAFULA BUNGOMA Sensitizing women on property rights
43. ANGELINA M. MUSABWA VIHIGA Advocating women and girl child rights
44. RHODESTER M. MUTHUI KITUI Promoting the rights of the elderly
45. EUNICE N. MUREGA MERU Campaigning against FGM
46. DORCAS MWAMBA TAITA TAVETA Campaigning against FGM
47. CHERUIYOT CHEBET ELGEYO MARAKWET Supporting girl child education
1. GRACE M. MCHUMA Advocating for women’s rights
2. MARY JOY NASIEKU MARSABIT Championing peace and reconciliation