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Women can’t stomach it after Maendeleo boss ‘endorsed’ wife battering

By AGEWA MAGUT November 7th, 2017 2 min read

Women’s rights organisations have condemned Maendeleo Ya Wanawake chairperson Rahab Muiu over her sexist remarks during a television interview.

Gender equality champions have asked Ms Muiu to retract her statements that seemingly endorsed violence against women. They also want her to resign from Maendeleo.

“We condemn the outrageous, regressive and disempowering utterances by the chairperson of Maendeleo Ya Wanawake, Rahab Muiu, during a television interview on October 28,” said Ms Maureen Mukalo, head of programmes at the Coalition on Violence Against Women (Covaw).

Almost 40 women’s rights organisations as well as individuals have come together in a bid to oust Ms Muiu from the helm of Maendeleo.


“We are horrified that a woman leader of Ms Muiu’s stature could appear on national television and go against the vision of her organisation that works towards advancing women’s rights,” said Dr Joan Nanyuki, the executive director of Covaw.

Ms Muiu stated that women who find themselves in abusive relationships are to blame for the situation. She further said women’s empowerment had limits and that wives should know their place.

On social media, both women and men condemned Ms Muiu following the television interview.

Libby Kigenda Ndambo posted, “You cannot be the CEO of Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization (MYWO) yet your view of women is flawed. Kinda like being a bishop in a church yet you are an atheist! it just doesn’t work.”

“As the Chairlady of wise ladies association of Kenya, I am planning to meet all the wise ladies across the country so that we can plan to ‘revisit’ the maendeleo ya wanawake Chairlady’s position. She has frustrated us as women. This mama must go!” lamented Irene Kendi.


“Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization inafanya kazi siku hizi? When it was established it implemented development programs that included diffusion of technologies that made work easier for women. Additionally, it mobilized resources for development and conducted sensitization and trainings on issues affecting women. Water and sanitation, public health, energy for home use, family life , among others were some of the issues the organization addressed. What changed ?” wondered Viscount K’Owuor.

Following many mesages on social media against the chairperson’s sentiments, the organisation posted an apology on its Facebook page on her behalf.

“The message that was being conveyed during the interview was how women handle men determines our failures or successes and a sense of humility helps the marriage institution to move forward, but nothing, absolutely nothing justifies any woman to be beaten,” part of the post on Facebook read.

Maendeleo Ya Wanawake is a non-profit organisation that strives to improve the quality of life of women in rural areas.