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Day 14, Esther Mwaura-Muiru: MAKERS Celebrates 20 Women of the 1995 UN Conference on Women

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 1995 UN Conference on Women in Beijing, we're featuring 20 incredible women on MAKERS who participated in the largest ever international gathering of women.

Esther Mwaura-Muiru is the founder and national coordinator of GROOTS Kenya, a network of more than 2,000 women-led community groups across Kenya.  Mwaura-Muiru motivation to begin organizing and community development work arose from her background, growing up in complete poverty in a rural section of Kenya’s Central Province. She carried herself through school tilling the farms of her rich neighbors, and earned a scholarship to attend University. Mwaura-Muiru attended the 1995 UN Women’s Conference in Beijing as an aide to the legendary Green Belt Movement founder Wangari Maathai.  There, at the parallel NGO Forum in Huairou, Mwaura-Muiru found the inspiration and network of women that would propel her life’s work.  Back home, she founded the Kenyan branch of the international grassroots organization GROOTS.  Thanks to Mwaura-Muiru’s leadership, GROOTS Kenya has helped women throughout Kenya access the levers of economic empowerment and assume important leadership roles locally, nationally, across Africa, and in international decision-making forums.

Be sure to watch the trailer for the upcoming documentary, "Once and For All" and join our conversation with the hashtag #OnceAndForAll.

NEXT: Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Beijing Conference »

Related Stories:
• The Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 1995
• Women in Politics