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Lamu Woman Rep Shakila Abdalla Mohamed (left), hands over a driving license to one of the women from Mpeketoni who received free driving lessons.BY CORRESPONDENT,LAMU,NOV 29TH,2016-
More than 100 women from Mpeketoni in Lamu West Sub-County have graduated after receiving free driving lessons for vehicles and motorcycles.
The programme was sponsored by Lamu Woman Representative Shakila Abdalla Mohamed through the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF).
The women acquired driving licenses after the three-month programme.
Speaking in Mpeketoni town during the handing over of the licenses to the new female drivers, Ms Mohamed said the move is aimed at equipping women with relevant skills to enable them acquire jobs once the new Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) corridor project is complete.
“Our aim is to equip Lamu women with these driving licenses so that the proportion of female workforce participating in nation building increases.
“We want women to get the first priority especially during employment when the Lapsset [project is complete]. All we are doing is preparing these women to benefit from and acquire their rightful employment space at the Lapsset,” said Ms Shakilla.
She also promised to ensure the second phase of the programme fully benefits the youth and disabled people.
“As a society we should be looking at ways of making our women and youth to be part of our economic development. We need to understand that gender stereotyping can be as damaging for men as it can be for women.
“I will engage women and youth from different communities in Lamu and give them support and make Lamu our pride,” said Ms Shakila.
The move is a new dawn for women in boda boda business in Mpeketoni since many have been marginalised and stigmatised while trying to pursue the trade.
About 70 per cent of women in Mpeketoni use motorcycles and bicycles in their daily businesses.