E10 - Damaris Mabeya at Aminia Dada Innovations

Maddy Norris
Damaris Mabeya

By Maddy Norris & Damaris Mabeya

On our 10th episode of our Women in Tech spin-off series, Maddy Norris was joined by the fantastic Damaris Mabeya, the Founder and Executive Director of Aminia Dada Innovations. Damaris is passionate about advocating rights for women in Kenya, to ensure equal opportunities are kept. A lot of her work is focused on giving women a voice and the right to resources to help them succeed.

Damaris grew up wanting to be in the governance space but was more interested in law. She felt a strong passion towards equal representation. When she finished high school, she went into international relations. She thought that when she finished school she would end up in the ministry of foreign affairs for government or international institutions. As much as she did internships in those areas, she felt strongly that she needed to do something more projecting in terms of protection, especially for young women. She has always been passionate about young women and the struggles women go through so for her she was very keen on that but didn’t know how to craft it yet. She struggled to figure out what route she wanted to go down, whether that was the political route or social protection for young women. What eventually put her to rest, and ultimately got her to kickstart Aminia Dada Innovations, was seeing the inequalities that women go through. Time poverty, for example, women who have to take time out when they go on maternity leave.

This is where Aminia Dada Innovations was born! Aminia means ‘to believe in’, Dada means ‘young woman or sister’ and innovations are English. So, it means to believe in young women’s innovations. The idea was how we use technology to bridge the digital gender divide. Once we break it, how do we use that to make sure we leverage a need to have an economic impact? It’s made up of a tri model, the gender digital divide, the economic aspect and dignity (the issues around cyberbullying and body shaming etc).

The idea behind it is for women to have a safe space to use their voices. The biggest achievement for her at the moment is giving dignity to women to use their voices openly and by doing this she has opened up conversations. When she first started out she was privileged to have trusting women in her government so she wants to do the same for the younger generation.

Biggest challenge?

The biggest challenge she’s facing currently is she hasn’t yet put up a system. She does everything herself. She has her programs with her but she hasn’t been able to put them up on the website because she is juggling everything herself.

When she’s not doing her thing at ADI, she attends conferences. She recently attended a virtual economic conference. All of that s to work towards getting partnerships with people to get her business out there.

When she isn’t doing content development or program structuring or project propels she is attending meetings.

The work is important because she was privileged to have gone to school and she doesn’t want to take her privileged for granted. She wants to use that and pass it on. Access to these technologies is crucial to these young women because without them they are immediately locked out.

Damaris discusses what is next for ADI in the next few months… Tune in now to hear all about it!