Ida Betty Odinga (born 24 August 1950) is a Kenyan businesswoman, activist, and educator. She was the first female to head a major Kenyan company. She was also named one of the most powerful women in Kenya in 2010 by The Standard.
Ida Odinga Biography
Ida Betty Odinga
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24 August 1950
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Businesswoman | Activist | Teacher
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Early Life and Education
Ida Betty Odinga was born as Ida Anyango Oyoo on August 24th, 1950 in Migori, Kenya. She attended Ogande Girls High School. She attended the University of Nairobi, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1973.
She met Raila Odinga at the University of Nairobi, who was employed at the department of engineering at that time. They got married on September 1, 1973.
Ida Odinga was employed as a teacher and did that for more than twenty years after she left university. She taught in schools like Kenya High School and all-girls public schools.
She raised her children single-handedly because her husband, Raila Odinga, was imprisoned in 1982 as a result of being a political prisoner by the government of President Daniel Arap Moi. Ida Odinga was later sacked as a teacher by the Kenya African National Union, which was led by her husband’s opposition party.
In 1991, Ida Odinga founded the League of Kenya Women Voters, they educate people about opportunities for women in the political arena. She also served as the chairperson of the League.
She has also hosted a couple of programs, most of which focused on women, children, and health in Kenya. Ida Odinga has publicly supported the prevention of breast cancer and fistulas and the eradication of chigoe fleas. She served as a mentor for Kenyan schoolgirls and as one of the board of directors for an organization that aids paraplegics.
In 2003, Ida Odinga was appointed as managing director of the East African Spectre, a liquified gas cylinder manufacturing company, a move, which qualified her as one of the first women to head a major Kenyan company. She was named one of the top most powerful women in Kenya in 2010
She said “It’s good to be a wife, but it’s good to be an educated wife.” “Being a wife, it’s just not a position of subordination – it’s a position of strength.” In a 2012 interview with CNN, while talking about her life as a politician’s wife.
In November 2018, she endorsed Bill 2018, which would amend the constitution of Kenya to empower female candidates and MPs in Parliament. Ida Odinga advocated the bill, which she said would increase leadership posts for women MPs, and give women a chance to compete with male politicians.
She attended the debate held in Parliament to support sitting women MPs. Despite her full support, from other politicians and activists, the bill failed to pass in the National Assembly in February 2019.
In 2019, she publicly said that she would not endorse anybody for the 2022 election, and people are free to choose anyone they want.
Ida Odinga said that the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) should ensure church leaders go through training in order to provide quality service to the congregation. This didn’t sit well with some clergy who was expecting her to withdraw and apologize, she was supported by the Atheists Society in Kenya which demanded that churches not run by theologians should be abolished.
Ida Odinga Net Worth
Ida Odinga net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million.
Social Media Handle
- Twitter @idaodinga