Girls who get pregnant while still in school should not feel lost and think it’s the end of the road as they can still achieve their dreams after giving birth by going back to school.
This can only be achieved when parents of such girls take up the roles of taking care of their newborns and allowing their girls back to school by continuing to pay their school fees.
Speaking during the Usemi wa Kina Mama show on West FM, nominated MCA, Kakamega County Assembly Hon. Ruth Ombayo says the girls face challenges especially when they lack sanitary pads while in school and sometimes fall trap of the boda boda operators, or men who lure them into having sex and impregnate them.
Hon. Ombayo says sometimes parents are torn between providing for families or buying the sanitary towels to the girls, who are stigmatized when in their periods, fail to attend school and just to make sure they get pads get closer to men in society who prove to provide the special commodity.
She says as a nominated MCA she has girls and women interests at heart and through this they started a dial a pad programme where they visit both secondary and primary schools in her ward to provide sanitary towels for the girls to keep them attending school and become great leaders in future.
She says before rising to where she is, she faced many challenges that pushed her to have women and girls interests at heart to help them in solving some of the issues.
She says she links with organizations, health workers and counselors that organize training for women groups, training young girls and providing guidance on what they are supposed to do.
She advises such young girls who gave birth and are not able to continue with school to either join vocational training centres or institutions that offer hands-on courses.
She says if women unite, view each other as friends, work together and speak one voice they can go far and beat the saying of a woman being an enemy of her fellow woman.
A woman when given an opportunity utilizes it to the end and work smarter attracting accusations of she slept with the boss to get the job amongst other accusations.
She says that there is hope for women working together giving an example of the Mulembe Women Caucus formed that has provided a platform to those who didn’t have a sense of belonging.
She also advises women to make sure they join chamas, table banking and Saccos that have members or leaders known to them who cannot run away with their money. They should not be attracted to rosy plans that won’t last.
She says leaders from their areas should be on their forefront to guide them to the best places they can join and work as a team.
Hon. Ombayo says an empowered woman is an asset to the community and is happy because the culture that existed in the past that a woman was not supposed to lead or talk in any meeting and even eat or do some jobs is no longer there because society has been civilized and women can do better what men do.
She says it’s normal for a woman to be pinned down but any empowered woman should not subscribe to such but rather hold their heads high and achieve what they want to.
She says as a woman life can push one sometimes may rise sometimes break down but this should not discourage them.
There are challenges and insults to degrade an empowered woman especially those from low class families, some who have risen to be leaders from their home villages are not respected and sometimes attract all sorts of allegations for having been known in the place but this should not block women from going for what they want in life.
Women leaders should therefore use their place in the society, hold those who are down to rise and sometimes finance their activities through their kitties.
She says the world and society in general are slowly changing and terms men who fear women rising in bigger positions in society being backward and speak for bush.
The leader says also to some extent women are still devalued in tenders and jobs, because they are not given jobs that are seen but rather thrown in the kitchen, cleanliness despite being professionals sometimes dimming their light in rising.
She however parts by urging women leaders to be on the forefront to help fellow women rise and fight for their rights and jostle for positions in the society saying nothing is impossible when the right channels are used.