The Star (Nairobi)

6 January 2014

Kenya: Rachel Ruto Asks Women to Form Groups for Business

Deputy President William Ruto's wife, Rachel, has asked women to speak with one voice and participate in groups that promote their empowerment.

She said women's economic empowerment is a key strategy in reducing poverty. Rachel asked women to work as a team and help each other to find solutions to the challenges they are facing.

Speaking in Eldoret town during presentation of water tanks donated by Silver Spread Ltd in Meru to various Joyful Women Organisations, she said: "women are powerful people who can transform their lives if they organise themselves and engage in businesses among other income generating activities aimed at uplifting their living status in society."

Rachel encouraged women groups to embrace the table banking concept where members save and access loans from their savings. She was accompanied by Joywo executive director Emily Ngetich. Ngetich said women are the backbone of rural economies and play a significant role in ensuring their families' wellbeing.

She said they contribute to development. Ngetich said many women in rural areas do not access information on credit opportunities they can exploit to boost their enterprises and improve their livelihoods.

She said that through groups representing their interests, assisting them to make proposals and drawing business plans, the women can benefit from emerging financial institutions. Silver Spread director Rajesh Hirani praised efforts being made to economically empower women.

He asked women to take table banking seriously as it can uplift their economic status. "Empowering women is like empowering the entire country as far as economic development is concerned. It is time leaders put more emphasis on development of women in this country," Hirani said.

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