Kitui Woman Gets Standing Ovation After Impressive Speech at UN Headquarters

  • A Kenyan woman from Kitui County was given a standing ovation after an impressive presentation at the UN headquarters in New York during the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

    Angelina Francis, who is a farmer, gave a speech on how rural women had benefited from a grassroots farming technology project.

    The project mainly aims at helping members access information and share ideas that can guide them in farming and marketing their produce.

    The women are encouraged to buy smartphones and have Whatsapp groups where they empower each other through deliberating on the best farming methods.

    [caption caption="Angelina Francis"][/caption]

    “All my hard work would go to waste when middlemen buy the produce at a throw-away price.

    “I am proud to stand here in New York to address the CSW 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,’’she told the audience at the Armenian Convention Centre’s Guild Hall.

    She further added that she has bought a motorbike (which she rides) to transport tomatoes and maize to the market.

    Through the initiative, Angelina has been able to move from a 'hand to mouth' businesswoman to a producer of tomatoes and maize planted on over 2 acres of land.

    Those present during the event included Dr Jennifer Riria, Kenya Women Holding chief executive and Ms Zanelle Mbeki, wife of former South African President Thabo Mbeki.

    [caption caption="File Photo of Thabo Mbeki and Zanelle Mbeki"][/caption]

    Another Kenyan, Winrose Nyaguthii also made a presentation on how the grassroots project had helped women to champion for their rights.

    “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,’’ she was quoted by the Nation.

    This year’s theme is “Commission on the Status of Women Centres on Challenges and Opportunities in Achieving Gender Equality and Empowerment of Rural Women and Girls.