What you need to know:
- Political leaders hailed Beth Mugo as a servant leader and a champion of women and girl rights and gender equality.
- The former senator launched her memoir, Early Bird.
In a remarkable celebration of a life well lived and a career marked by groundbreaking achievements, political leaders, local and global, hailed Beth Mugo as a servant leader and a champion of women's and girl's rights and gender equality, as she launched her memoir, Early Bird.
Former Kitui governor Charity Ngilu lauded her remarkable journey. She reminisced how Ms Mugo had in the 80s trained her in women's economic and political empowerment and then mentored her as she started her political career in 1992.
“When I met her back then, she spoke clearly and straightforwardly about her vision for women in this country. In 1984, I was invited with others to the Hilton Hotel, and there she addressed great men and women, saying in her speech that Kenyan women wanted to be in the corridors of power. It was something I had never heard of. It was during Kanu days and that was something that you could not speak of.”
She also called on women leaders not to get tired of encouraging and training women to be in the right offices, to make the impact that they want to see. The memoir chronicles Ms Mugo’s incredible journey, from being raised up during colonial times and witnessing four administrations, to becoming a beacon of inspiration for women in Kenya and beyond.
Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua saluted Ms Mugo for achieving the feat, saying it would inspire her to complete her own memoir, describing her as a go-getter and self-driven public servant.
“I have known Beth in the trenches struggling for women’s rights. After the Fourth World Women’s Conference, she was among the women who advocated policy and legislative changes in Parliament and during the constitutional review process and the result of all those efforts were the gains in the 2010 Constitution.”
Ms Mugo's illustrious career spans decades, serving in top leadership positions, ranging from the International Federation of Business and Professional Women to the inter-parliamentary union, and later venturing into political leadership in Kenya. Her contributions extended to the Council for Economic Empowerment for Women in Africa, Cabinet positions, and several regional and international roles.
Dap-K leader Eugene Wamalwa posited that Ms Mugo’s story would benefit many and provide a lot of inspiration, more so for girls to know about trailblazers who have opened the way, set standards and fought for women empowerment.
Prof Maria Nzomo, one of the three people who wrote the memoir’s foreword, appreciated her as someone who knows how to wear power with grace, humaneness, and humility. “The effort she put in is worth appreciating. I hope this book will inspire the young generation, the many things we can do even when we are under difficult circumstances.”
Former Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, through her representative, described her as an inspiring woman of excellence whose story must be told. She said she would be launching her presidential library that will include the Africa Women’s House showcasing ‘sheroes’ like herself and many others who have made significant efforts in improving lives in Africa.
The memoir, whose title Early Bird Ms Mugo drew from her experience of receiving an eagle as a gift from two separate events, one in Botswana and the other in Kenya, not only delves into her personal experiences but also sheds light on pivotal historical events, including the struggle against colonialism and the fight for women's rights.
For her part, Ms Mugo urged women to speak louder and make their voices heard.