It is quite revealing that Kenya got its first female major general 55 years after independence when President Uhuru Kenyatta swore in Fatuma Ahmed on Friday.
President Kenyatta expressed his pride in appointing the first woman as a major general in Kenya. She now becomes the Assistant Chief of the Defense Forces for Personnel and Logistics.
With Pride and honour, I am counting on you Major-General Fatuma Mohammed, to be a positive role model to women accross the country. Let other women see that there are no limits. May you be a great inspiration even as you take up you new rank in the Military pic.twitter.com/fC5tEy75SO
— President of Kenya (@PresidentKE) July 13, 2018
It is not the first time Major General Ahmed get the country’s first honours. In 2015 she became the first woman to be promoted to a Brigadier. She has been in the military for 32 years, earning accolades along the way.
Upon her appointment, Major General Ahmed said, “I am very happy with this new appointment because it shows that the President values the contribution of women to the development of our great nation.”
The move, although long overdue, is significant in a country where gender equality is still a mirage. The constitution requires all government and political office to have a gender threshold of 2/3, meaning that no more than 2/3 of an organisation management should be of one gender.
As it stands, the cabinet, which was just reshuffled by Kenyatta; the judiciary and the parliament have not met the constitutional requirements.