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Ambitious Woman Who Was Kenya's First Blind MP
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|Ambitious Woman Who Was Kenya's First Blind MP by Kenyans247(1): Tue Jan 2020 04:41pm|
In the recent past, we have all been accustomed to the nomination of persons living with disabilities to Parliament, however, in 1998, one particular nomination made it into the history books.
Josephine Sinyo was nominated to Parliament by the Safina Party. She became the first visually impaired person to serve as an MP, as reported by the Daily Nation on October 28, 1998.
Her nomination was welcomed by people from all over the country and furthermore, it became an epitome of recognition to both the physically challenged and women in society.
Sharing in the historic feat was then Safina Party leader, Paul Muite, gender activist Wanjiku Kabira and conservationist Richard Leakey, who had expressed his desire for a person with a disability, preferably a woman, to take his place.
Sinyo became blind at the age of three, after suffering from measles.
She attended the University of Nairobi where and pursued a bachelor's degree in law (LLB) and later the University of Hull in England for her masters (LLM).
Sinyo is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a state counsel in the attorney general's office. She boasts over 30 years of experience in human rights, policy development, legislative research, and training.
During her tenure as an MP, she was pivotal in the constitutional review process that pushed for the agenda of children, women, and persons living with disabilities.
She has had the pleasure to serve in the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA, Kenya Chapter), Forum for Women Education (FAWE, Kenya Chapter), the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), Kenya Brest Health Programme, Kenya Union of the Blind, Kenya Society for the Blind, and the United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK).
During the years 2006, 2015 and 2017, Sinyo was a recipient of state commendations, among them the Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW), the Excellence Service Award and the Elder of the Burning Spear (EBS) respectively, for her efforts towards nation-building.
She is currently an ex-officio at the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya Board of Trustees, representing the attorney general's office. She sits at the Donations Committee and Audit, Risk and Governance Committee.
Sinyo is also a member of the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) Board of Directors.
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