In Summary
  • She was speaking to a keen and excited audience on the side-lines of the largest gathering on gender equality.

  • Angelina gave a presentation on “the power of digital technology for accountability in public and political affairs by rural women".

  • Among those in the audience was Dr Jennifer Riria, Kenya Women Holding chief executive, and Ms Zanelle Mbeki.

New York

A Kenyan woman received a standing ovation after she made an impressive presentation at the UN headquarters in New York about how rural women have benefited from a grassroots farming technology project.

Ms Angelina Francis, a farmer from Kitui County, gave a compelling account of how she succeeded planting and selling tomatoes and maize in her three-acre-farm aided by technology.

She was speaking to a keen and excited audience on the side-lines of the largest gathering on gender equality.

“All my hard work would go to waste when middlemen buy the produce at a throw away price,” Ms Francis, who dropped out of school in Standard Three, told the audience at the Armenian Convention Centre’s Guild Hall.

“I am proud to stand here in New York to address the CSW (Commission on the Status of Women) because of technology, despite my lack of education while I have left behind those with degrees. I am happy to say that given the opportunities and right exposure, women in the rural areas can go places and do a lot to improve their lot,’’ the small-scale farmer, who would occasionally break into Kiswahili, told participants.

RESOURCE ALLOCATION

She spoke during a presentation by her organisation, Groots Kenya, on “the power of digital technology for accountability in public and political affairs by rural women,’’ organised by African Women’s Development and Communication Network (Femnet).

Among those in the audience was Dr Jennifer Riria, Kenya Women Holding chief executive, and Ms Zanelle Mbeki, wife of former South African President Thabo Mbeki.

Ms Zanelle Mbeki and Dr Jennifer Riria

Ms Zanelle Mbeki (left), wife of former South African President Thabo Mbeki and Dr Jennifer Riria, Kenya Women Holding chief executive, were among those in the audience when Ms Francis made her presentation. PHOTO | NJERI RUGENE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Ms Winrose Nyaguthii from Laikipia County who also made a presentation and described the organisation, founded in 1995, as a grassroots movement comprising 3,500 women-led groups in 14 counties.

“Communities from these counties with a population of about 22,000 have come together to champion their needs and demand their rights while the organisation’s secretariat offers them technical and financial support,’’ said Ms Nyaguthii.

ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT

Ms Esther Mwaura-Muiru, the organisation’s lead champion said the project brings in community leaders to help women achieve economic empowerment.

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