International Alumna of the Year
Angella Ndaka has been awarded the 2020 ANU International Alumna of the Year Award for her important contribution to gender and social inclusion in Kenya, and leadership on programs empowering women and girls.
Her work has focussed on demystifying issues like menstrual education, early pregnancies, female genital mutilation, and other cultural myths that affect girl children.
"I chose to study public policy because I am a victim of gender-based violence at work. I also noticed a lot of gender inequality issues in the workplace and also in schools, and a lack of policies to address these issues," said Angella.
After graduating from ANU in 2015, Angella formed the team that set up the Women in Leadership Network (WILN)-Kenya chapter. She is the current chairperson of the network and has led three Women in Leadership grants that have empowered women and girls in rural communities in Kenya.
Angella has been instrumental in driving the Panpads project in Kenya, to educate young girls between the ages of 12 and 19 on menstrual hygiene and management. So far, the project has benefitted 460 girls and intends to reach over 500 girls in 2020.
She believes good social policy is important because it reduces the gap between the haves and the have nots.
"Good policy ensures that opportunities are created for those who do not have, and not only does it push for equality of opportunity, but also equality of outcomes."
Angella says the leadership skills she picked up as a student at ANU have served her well in her work and life.
"ANU taught me to be a leader and to take leadership proactively, without being pushed. Whenever I find an opportunity to do so, I look for a way to do it and to solve the problems in the communities that I am serving."