Coming Closer To Empower Women
By Allan Kai & Johnson Mwangangi
Inua Mama Mashinani, Jenga Taifa initiative Mombasa Chapter patron, Stella Wandoe, today praised the government on the 2020/21 Budget released by the Finance Cabinet Secretary, Ukur Yatani earlier this week.
She was speaking when she opened a new branch of the Inua Mama Mashinani, Jenga Taifa initiative in Likoni Sub-county, Mombasa, which aims at reaching more vulnerable women at the grassroots level.
Speaking with Gilitics Media, Wandoe praised the budget stating that women, the youth and persons with disabilities, have been fairly featured with a significant amount of funds allocated towards development projects and employment opportunities for them.
Owing to this fact, Wandoe called upon the women, youth and those living with disability to take advantage of the allocations by registering their groups and businesses in order to boost their livelihoods.
Wandoe touched on the allocations given to the education sector as well saying that, “ making it easier for women to take their children to school is such a relief to many underprivileged women who most times are sole providers for an extended household.”
On the opening of the office in Likoni Wandoe said that “it became necessary to open the new branch in Likoni due to the travel constraints brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic” adding that “this branch would make it easier for women from Likoni and even Kwale county seeking assistance from us, to access our offices from here instead of having to cross the ferry all the way to our CBD offices.”
Wandoe also voiced some other hardships that women from mashinani have been going through owing to the Covid-19 pandemic stating that, “most of the women here have businesses that have been put on hold ever since the restrictions began and even though the government recently eased some of the restrictions, women still have a hard time adjusting as some businesses are such that people flock to them. Which may land some of the owners in hot water.”
Wandoe stressed on the importance of civic education to women at the grassroots regarding the filing of tax returns stating that many of them have no understanding of what is required of them as far as being tax compliant is concerned, she urged the government to make it a priority to educate them on this in order for them to become tax compliant and have access to opportunities offered by the government.
The group’s vice chairperson, Amina Ridhwani echoed the sentiments of madam Wandoe, insisting that the government and county governments need to ensure there’s a level playing field for women at the grassroots to access opportunities for development.