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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Icon and champion Nandi women welfare anti-domestic violence

They say to educate a woman is to educate the society. In the same perspective, to empower a woman is to empower the society so the sages of yonder said.
Nandi county women representative Zipporah Kering has become an instant celebrity in the county after she unveiled a smart programme which seeks to enlighten and empower women and youth in the county. Through partnership with rural women peace link and the international rescue committee, both nonprofit making entities that advocate for eradication of gender violence, she has acquired a perfect standpoint to articulate her vision for women in the county.
The former primary school unionist-turned-politician is banking on the Maendeleo ya Wanawake network to mobilise women groups for consultative meetings where she unleashes her economic empowerment message.
Seen by many as slowly cropping into the footsteps of the late fiery politician Jelagat Mutai, the first time MP has robbed in a four-tier entrepreneur who explains by demonstrating to the women how some of his ventures function besides the expected average returns.
She vehemently denies in the forums that her gesture to empower women and youth in the county was for purposes of advancing political mileage in readiness for 2017 election matrix.
In her recent forays in the county with her office lieutenants in tow, she explained how it was impossible for women and youth to gain meaningful empowerment in the glare of gender-based violence.
She stresses that despite the fact that the women rep seat was because it has no kitty to manage, she had a singular duty of teaching them how to fish by giving them total empowerment instead of sitting and waiting for manner from heaven.
The women rep is constitutionally the patron of Uwezo fund in the county but has no influence over the money which is managed under the constituency development fund.
The rural women peace link which is a nongovernmental organisation has contacted women leaders who mobilise women groups for the forums across the county.
Among the places visited include Kabiyet, Kapchorwa, Kapsengere, Mosoriot and Chepterwai among others where the reception has been very fantastic.
The quest entrepreneur who dangles his printed items for sale on a wall chart is a brown short man from the city.
He is one of the directors of the consolidated crown, the company that churns out the items he was offering to the women and youth.
 Among the items on disposal are tents for hire, chicken incubators of different capacity, advanced beehives, and high production green house.
He says his main purpose for the visit was to partner and instill the spirit of self-reliance and financial independence to the women and youth by providing affordable items for regular income.
Before she invites the quest entrepreneur who delivers a powerful lecture on self-reliance to the attentive audience, the women rep implores them to shun domestic violence for total empowerment.
Her dream to eradicate violence and empower women and youth has gotten significant support from county government and social welfare entities that sent representatives to the forums.
He demonstrates how they work, how they ought to be taken care of and the projected returns in a particular condition at a specific timeframe.
In all the six forums recently conducted, participants learnt in shock the disclosure of survey that most gender violence, particularly child defilement and rape happen right in homes where the victims should be feeling safe.
It was also discovered that parents do not keep a close watch on the happenings around their children.
At the first forum in Kabiyet an assistant county commissioner blamed distorted social fabric for the strange ways in the society which brewed violence.
He said many gender violence cases are never reported to the police because families fear the incident may taint the public image of the family.
He said that children under the age of 18 years are protected by law because they are yet to attain the age of consent and warned perpetrators of violence against them that they will be dealt with accordingly.
He blamed hard drugs and alcohol for the upsurge in gender violence in the county.
A moderator, Fred Yego from the rural women peace link, said that according to data in their possession Nandi county was among those leading in suicide and gender violence. He calculated that from the data it could easily be established that no single day passes without either recording a single suicide case or an attempt for one.
While contributing at the forum, an education official from the subcounty alleged that continuous focus on the girl child had stolen attention from the boychild, an undertaking he claimed had sent the boychild at the periphery.
He however observed that children from rich families are easier to manage that those from poor families.
 A ward administrator admitted that there was a problem of defilement and rape in the county during the period when schools were in recess.
 The forum was told that a lady lawyer from the county had partnered to provide free legal services to victims of gender-related violence.
Back to the woman representative, she was born over 40 years ago in Nandi South in an African Inland Church family, married in Nandi North in an Anglican family and settled in Nandi Central as a career teacher.
She easily won the seat partly because she emerged from the politically vibrant teaching fraternity besides wearing a typical African woman expression and a person with spread tentacles across the county.
As a devoted Jubilee follower and an ardent supporter of deputy president William Ruto, she is considered in some quarters as the strongest woman representative in Kalenjin dominated counties of Rift Valley.
She is unassuming, a go- getter who is never distracted by obstacles from attaining what she believes in.