At the Woman of the Year award in Nairobi on 7 March, ten women were honoured for their selflessness, courage and dedication to their communities. Congratulating the winners and nominees for the awards, UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka a key speaker at the occasion, highlighted the burden of women in slums and shanty settlements where percent of the city’s population live. According to research carried out by the organization, many women are forced to leave their rural homesteads because they do not have legal rights to their property and end up in urban slums. To address this problem, Mrs. Tibaijuka called on all governments to honour women’s equal rights to inherit and own property, and prohibit customary laws that discriminate against women. She also shared best practices from other cities to demonstrate how women’s participation in urban development can improve the way cities are managed.
The event was hosted by EVE, a local women’s magazine, and attended by several dignitaries including the Kenya’s Minister for Gender, Sports and Culture, Najib Balala, and the Minister for Lands and Settlements, Amos Kimunyu.
Full speech of the Executive Director