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Phoebe Asiyo, the woman who captured Obama's attention

Achieving Woman

One of the most surprising speeches yesterday during the opening of Sauti Kuu new youth Centre in Kogelo with Barack Obama was the given by Phoebe Asiyo, a 88 year old Kenyan politician, advocate and women human’s rights activist who is known for been the first woman elevated to the position of Luo elder. This is her story.

Born in September 1930, Phoebe Asiyo is a former parliamentarian of Kenya who holds the distinction of being one of the longest-serving women in parliament in Kenya (8 non-consecutive years). She was the United Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) ambassador from 1988 to 1992. Asiyo was also part of the delegation to Uganda to advocate for the participation of women in peace talks in Uganda.

 Madam Asiyo as a parliamentarian of Kenya and her coworkers

She was the first woman elevated to the position of Luo elder for her efforts to promote education for girls, women’s rights and gender equality in Kenya. Also known as Mama Asiyo, she is a mother and grandmother who has dedicated her life to improving the political world in Kenya. She focuses on bettering the role of women and girls in the country as well as helping those affected by HIV and fighting against the female mutilation in the Kenyans communities.

 Madam Phoebe Asiyo

She currently serves as chair of the Caucus for Women’s Leadership, where she leads and teaches young women and advocates for women in leadership roles and skills.


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