First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has emphasized the need to equip girls with skills, knowledge and confidence to enable them to compete effectively.
The First Lady, who is the Patron of the Kenya Girl Guides Association (KGGA), said the future of a gender-equal world will not be achieved if the race to empower girls is lost.
“Empowering them (girls) with skills, knowledge and confidence is the biggest predictor for securing their future. It is what will determine how they compete in the world as leaders, taking up positions that were previously reserved only for boys,” the First Lady said.
“As parents, we know the biggest impact on a child’s success comes from ensuring that they have space to thrive, through equal access to opportunities. This is what the core of the World Thinking Day theme is all about – Equity,” she added.
The First Lady spoke Friday at Loreto Convent Msongari in Nairobi when she presided over celebrations to mark this year’s World Thinking Day.
The annual celebrations bring together girl guides and girl scouts around the world to discuss issues affecting the movement.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta urged girl guides and scouts to embrace solidarity and friendship for one another so as to influence positive change in their communities in line with this year’s theme of ‘diversity, equity and inclusion’.
Speaking on this year’s theme, the First Lady stressed the need for the girls to continue upholding diversity as well as respect and appreciation for all things that make them unique.
“Diversity urges us to explore our differences, to accept and learn from one another. This is one of the virtues that the (girl guides and scouts) movement has come to be associated with. And I applaud you all for holding firmly on to this,” she said.
The First Lady observed that the spirit of inclusion underpins key values and principles that have grounded the powerful constituency of girls and women into strong solidarity of sisterhood under the Kenya Girl Guides Association.
“It is evident that this movement has created change-makers and transformed the lives of its members,” she said.
The First Lady also took the opportunity to pay tribute to Lord Baden Powell who founded the institution that is reputed to have the biggest global membership, impacting individuals, communities and nations united in making the world a better place.
“As Patron, it is encouraging to witness the growth and impact of the Kenya Girl Guide Association has had on millions of girls and women across the country,” said the First Lady.
“I am particularly encouraged to see how the association has contributed immensely to the character-building in our girls and women, teaching them resilience, discipline, selflessness and patriotism,” the First Lady said.
She commended the girl guides and scouts for their determination and courage that has enabled them to stand out as role models and become a source of motivation for their peers.
“Your hard work, strong dedication and courage deserve our praise. This makes me optimistic about the bright future for our girls,” the First Lady said as she assured the association of her continued support as its patron.
Other speakers included Public Service and Gender CS Prof Margaret Kobia and KGGA Chief Commissioner Prof Faith Nguru.
Prof Nguru thanked the First Lady for her dedication and continued support to the girl guides movement.
“You have remained a model of excellence for our girls and women in the country,” Prof Nguru said.
On her part, Prof. Kobia assured of her ministry’s continued partnership with the Girl Guides Association which she said has enabled girls to develop their confidence, resilience and commitment which are critical to the social and economic transformation of the country.