Chief Justice Martha Koome
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Meet The Most Influential Women In Kenya

Is any one of them your role model?

BY Mercy Kipchilat

Mar 15, 2023, 09:41 AM

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Our country is full of strong, innovative, and creative women who are not afraid to challenge the status quo and fearlessly compete for leadership positions in male-dominated spaces and win.

Forbes Magazine recently listed the 50 most influential women in Africa who are over 50 years old, and some Kenyan women were featured in the highly competitive list.

From fearless politicians, lawyers, and businesswomen, here are the Kenyan women who have been listed in Forbes 50 over 50 most influential women in Africa.  

Hon Lady Justice Martha Koome.

Photo by CJ Martha Koome
Born in 1960, Martha Koome is one of the most influential women who got listed in Forbes Magazine's 50 over 50 women in Africa.

She is the current and first female Chief Justice of Kenya. She is also the President of the Supreme Court.

Throughout her legal career, Lady Justice Koome has distinguished herself as a defender of Human and Gender Rights which she demonstrated during her tenure as the African Union Commissioner to the African committee on the rights and welfare of children. 

She also participated in the campaign for the repeal of section 2A of the Kenyan constitution which saw the introduction of presidential term limits.

Zipporah Kittony.

Photo by Zipporah Kittony
Zipporah Kittony is also one of the 50 most influential women over 50 years old in Africa according to Forbes.

A veteran political figure, and a former chairperson of Maendeleo Ya Wanawake, Kittony has earned her spot in Kenyan history for her contribution to women's empowerment and advocacy.

She is a recipient of several prestigious awards including the Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW) in 1998 and the American Biographical Institute Women of the Year Award in 1999.

Grace Onyango.

Photo by The Standard
The recently deceased Grace Onyango was a Kenyan politician who defied cultural and social barriers to become a woman of many firsts.

She was the first female Mayor of Kisumu after being elected in 1965, the first female Member of Parliament in post-independence Kenya after being elected as the MP for Kisumu Town Constituency in 1969, the first Kenyan woman to serve as deputy speaker of the national assembly and the first female secretary-general of the Luo Union.

Grace Onyango passed away on 8 March 2023 at the age of 98, but she left behind a legacy as a trailblazer in women’s representation in elective politics and even in her death, she is considered one of the most influential women in both Kenya and Africa.

Jennifer Karina.

Photo by Jennifer Karina
Businesswoman, psychologist, energy leadership practitioner, certified professional coach, public speaker and author, are some of the titles that Jennifer Karina holds and she is also among the 50 most influential women in Africa according to Forbes Magazine.

Karina is the Founder and CEO of Anchor Relationship Network and the current Chairperson of the board of directors at the Kenya Reinsurance Corporation. She also serves as the vice chairperson of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.

Between 2010 and 2017, Karina served as the Chairperson of the Central Bank of Kenya Pension Fund and she also previously served as the Chief Commissioner of the Kenya Girl Guides Association.

Flora Mutahi.

Photo by Global Compact Network Kenya
Accountant and businesswoman Flora Mutahi is also one of the 50 most influential women over 50 years of age in Africa.

She is the founder and CEO of Melvin Marsh International, which produces Melvin’s Tea among other products.

Flora Mutahi currently serves as the chairperson of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and she previously served as the vice chairperson of COMESA.

In addition to her work as a businesswoman, Mutahi is also a philanthropist and she is a board member for a non-profit organization called Seed Hope whose main aim is to improve the living conditions of people living in Kibira.

Dr Jennifer Riria.

Photo by Dr Jennifer Riria
The CEO of Echo Network Africa Limited (formerly Kenya Women Holding Group), Dr Jenifer Riria, is also one of the 50 most influential women over 50 years of age in Africa.

She serves as the Chairperson of Women's World Banking and has served on the boards of several organizations and companies including the Nairobi Securities Exchange (where she was the first woman to serve on the board), the National Bank of Kenya, Kenya Post Office Savings Bank, and Jitegemee Trust Fund, just to name a few.

In addition to her money-making ventures, Dr Jennifer Riria is also an advocate for the education of needy girls and she is a firm supporter of the Educate the Net 235 Girls programme.

Lady Justice Joyce Aluoch.

Photo by Strathmore University
Lady Justice Joyce Aluoch is a Kenyan lawyer, a former Judge of the International Criminal Court, and a former High Court Judge, and she is also one of the iconic Kenyan women who made it on the Forbes 50 over 50 most influential women in Africa.

Aluoch served as the first Chairperson of the African Union Experts Committee on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and as Vice-Chairperson of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Lady Justice Joyce Aluoch currently serves as the Kenya Girl Guides Association's National Trustee and a WAGGGS Honorary Associate. She helped in the formation of the Peer Prevention Programme for Young People, a programme aimed at reducing the spread of HIV through the education of women and girls.

Read Also: Get To Know All The Female Presidents In Africa.