International Women's Day Is this Kenya's most learned female judge?

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#PressForProgress Part 3

Justice Njoki Ndung'u [centre right] arguable Kenya's most fierce female judge play Justice Njoki Ndung'u [centre right] arguable Kenya's most fierce female judge (Courtesy)

Justice Njoki Susanna Ndung’u is one of Kenya’s most powerful women.

She is a judge of the Supreme Court of Kenya and an advocate of the High Court. She has had an illustrious legal and political career.

After leaving Kenya High School, Njoki attended University of Nairobi where she got a Bachelor of Law; she also has a Master of Law in Human Rights and Civil Liberties from the University of Leicester. She is also a diploma holder in Women's Rights. She could easily be the most academically decorated female judge in the country.

 

Her career began as State Counsel to the Attorney General in 1989. Since then, the 53 year old has been known for her activism for gender equality and women’s rights.

So much so that her appointment to the Supreme Court was met with mild backlash as some people dared to wonder why an activist deserves a seat on the highest bench in the country.

Njoki’s role in the protection of women is probably her most important.

While she served as a nominated Member of Parliament, she pushed the following bills:

Amendment on maternity and paternity rights in employment Act 2007- this sought to provide paid maternity and paternity leave.

Key Human Rights Amendment to the Refugee Bill

Sexual Offences Bill 2006.

The Sexual Offences Bill 2006 explained sexual offences and provided ways to prevent further attacks and protection of people from illegal sexual acts. It created leeway for harsh penalties for sexual offenders and eventually got passed as the Sexual Offences Act 2007.

play Justice Njoki Ndung'u (Courtesy)

 

Njoki also served as a member of the committee of experts that drafted Kenya’s new constitution that was voted in by an overwhelming majority in 2010.

The judge has also earned accolades from the United Nations where she was awarded Person of the Year award in 2006 due to her campaigning for women’s rights.

She also won Jurist of the Year Award in 2006 from the International Commission of Jurists.

She was awarded the Elder of the Burning Spear- one of the highest presidential commendations- in 2006 and more recently, she was awarded the Chief of the Burning Spear.

Njoki was also a 2016 honoree of Women Inspiring Change. And with such a glowing biography, Njoki is one of the women who deserve recognition over the 2018 International Women’s Day for her role in the empowerment of women and fighting for gender equality.

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