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ecognizing Outstanding Women

Kenya has no shortage of outstanding women leaders. The increasing activism of women and the tremendous energy and talent of the women assembled here give me great hope for Kenya’s future.

In fact, there are so many distinguished women here tonight that we cannot possibly recognize each of you and all of your contributions. But I would like to take a moment to acknowledge just a few Kenyan women who are playing exceptional roles in promoting human rights and peace and will serve as role models for future generations.

* We all know Anne Njogu, the Executive Director of the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW), who was chosen by Secretary Clinton to receive an International Woman of Courage Award. This year the Embassy nominated Ms Jane Anyango, founder of Kibera Women for Peace and Fairness, for this award. Jane founded this organization during the 2008 post-election violence, when in the face of escalating violence in Kibera, she walked door-to-door encouraging women to come out in support of peace. About 800 women responded with a march to the District Officer’s compound to rally for peace within the community. Jane is also very active in educating and inspiring girls through Girls Speak Out International and other activities.

* The Embassy also recognized two young women this year with “Feather Awards,” which highlight the extraordinary accomplishments of ordinary women. The 2010 Arts and Culture Award Winner is Ms Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, who is a young leader in multimedia communications and is helping to consolidate and expand the Kenyan and regional creative economy. The 2010 Humanitarian Award Winner is Ms Ciiru Waweru, who manages a girls’ home on the outskirts of Nairobi, ensuring that almost 100 disadvantaged girl-children have an education and opportunities that they would not otherwise have had.

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