First Lady Margaret Kenyatta urges women to pool resources for faster economic empowerment

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto's wife Rachel Ruto

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has expressed the need for more women initiatives that will enable them to pool resources and consolidate their financial strength.

The First Lady singled out table banking as one of the initiatives that women could use to empower themselves.

She commended Deputy President William Ruto’s spouse, Mrs Rachel Ruto, for establishing the Joyful Women, a non-governmental entity that has for the last 10 years operated to empower Kenyan women economically.

“We need more initiatives like JOYWO that will offer women financial options that will unlock their potential and provide the necessary support they require to become active citizens, contributing to the development of their communities and our country at large,” the First Lady said.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta spoke today at the Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani, Nairobi County during celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of Joyful Women.

Joyful Women was founded in 2009 and has a membership of over 200,000 women drawn from all the 47 counties.

The First Lady applauded Kenyan women saying they’ve excelled in balancing their pursuit for economic empowerment with the responsibility of nurturing their children into responsible citizens.

“God has given us a responsibility to transform the lives of our children, our families and our communities. We are responsible for ensuring good health, education, good nutrition and peace in our families,” said the First Lady.

Deputy President Dr William Ruto and Mrs Oludolapo Osinbajo, the spouse of the Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinabjo, also attended the celebration.

The First Lady congratulated members of Joyful Women for pursuing their passion with courage and strength, saying the organization has continued to reach out to many women at the grassroots and boosted their economic wellbeing.

She thanked Mrs Ruto for her visionary leadership that has continued to inspire Joyful Women members to form over 6,000 table banking groups with a revolving fund estimated at Shs 3.5 billion.

“Every year I have come to celebrate with you, I am humbled by the experiences, the commitment and the determination I see from women  – mothers, wives, sisters – whose lives have changed through this innovative empowerment program,” the First Lady said.