Author: Paul

Kenya’s First Female Presidents Are Changing the World

Kenya’s First Female Presidents Are Changing the World

These are the women breaking new ground in Kenya’s politics.

When Kenya’s last president and her husband were swept out of office in the country’s 2015 election, the country’s new leaders had only just embarked on their journey towards forming the most populous and most ethnically diverse nation in Africa. And during the early months of their reign, they had one thing in common: They had no experience running a government.

“It’s very rare for a man to be at the helm of a country [and] a woman president, let alone the entire country,” says the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kenya, Maureen Wambui Nyako.

Yet the new pair, current vice president William Ruto and his wife and minister, Margaret Ruto, are leading Kenya after more than two years marked by political upheaval and conflict, and have already seen some progress in areas that were once foreign to their predecessors. They are also the first female presidential pair in the history of Africa’s oldest continuous democracy to be elected.

In many ways, they are following in the footsteps of Kenya’s first female president, Jomo Kenyatta.

Nyako, who is a member of Parliament and a former foreign minister, says she was always keen for the country to have a female leader. When she became the first female vice president of Kenya last year, she was determined to keep Kenyatta’s spirit alive by pushing for political change. “Kenyan women are very good leaders. We don’t believe in running a country in our own way. The Kenya we are moving to is all built on hard work,” she says.

Mpho Njenga Chirchir, another former cabinet member, says being a woman in top office was something the country needed to address. “I think we have to accept that gender is a factor in whether a country is growing or not. How you do your work is very different from how a man does his work. So you have to be careful when making decisions and when implementing things. That’s why as a cabinet

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