Rose Okeno consecrated as first female bishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya

Rose Okeno consecrated as first female bishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya

The Anglican Church of Kenya recorded history on Sunday by breaking barriers and ordaining the first female bishop in the church’s history. Bishop Rose Okeno, 52, took over the leadership of the Butere diocese in a landmark event that trail blazes the path for women to ascend into positions of power in the church. She marched into the Butere grounds with pomp and colour; shortly after, she took the sacred oath, confirming her position as a bishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya in charge of the Butere diocese. She becomes the first female to have ever scaled this high in the leadership of the Anglican Church in Kenya, topping Rev. Emily Owino who was installed as an assistant Bishop in Bondo in January. On her first agenda in office, Bishop Okeno said: “We will advocate for the rights of girls and children in our communities, the empowerment of women and others disadvantaged in society. We must call out those who use positions of influence, sometimes even within the church, to harm the weak.” The mother of four has been serving the Anglican Church in different capacities for twenty years,  with her elevation into the position of bishop, fanning the fire of women leadership that has been gaining momentum in the past year. “It is in times like these that we need to have such strong women; women who are ready to save their nation,” said Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu. Busia Woman Representative Florence Mutua, on her part, said: “Tuendelee kusomesha watoto wetu wasichana because it is her (Bishop Okeno’s) education and humility and perseverance to reach where she has reached that has made her bishop.” Bishop Okeno will be taking over from Bishop Timothy Wambunya, who resigned in September 2020 after a 7-year reign, following health concerns. Even as matters of women leadership continue to cause ripples across the religious sphere, the rising of Bishop Rose Okeno is viewed as a trail blazer to open up ways for more women to take leadership positions in the church.

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