Kenyans urged to support female aspirants

Kenyans have been urged to support more women actively seeking elective and other positions of leadership both at national and county levels.

Echo Network Africa (ENA) group chief executive officer Dr. Jennifer Riria said women had the capacity to bring a difference in leadership by ensuring the needs and aspirations of women and men, boys and girls are addressed equitably.

For political institutions to be democratically legitimate, ENA group chief executive officer added that they must be all-inclusive. This, she noted, can only happen with a greater representation of women in the National Assembly, the Senate and county assemblies.

“Electing women creates room to revise laws that discriminate against girls and women. Let us continue working together for the progress we all believe in. And let us begin with ourselves, in our own spaces, in our homes, in our schools and with our children,” Riria said.

While lauding the current 23 percent representation of women in the National Assembly, Riria noted that more work needed to be done to achieve the constitutionally proposed two-thirds gender representation.

She noted that while the journey of women in leadership has been long and bumpy, their determination and commitment has yielded fruits.

“Therefore, we celebrate the gains made and also reflect on the social, economic, political and cultural contexts in which women and girls live and work,” Riria said.

She spoke in Nakuru after a meeting of over 300 women aspirants from various political parties and coalition under the auspices of, Chagua Mama, a campaign encouraging voters to elect women vying for the positions of governor, senator, Member of Parliament, and member of county assembly.

Riria stressed that gender equality and women empowerment are essential components of human development and basic human rights.

“Some people may ask why it matters if there are more women elected. It is a matter of equity and human rights, which are cornerstones of a democratic society. It matters because women’s representation ensures democracy functions effectively,” she pointed out.

Last March, ENA, in partnership with Democracy Trust Fund and UN Women, launched Chagua Amani, an initiative also aimed at promoting a peaceful election.

Riria said they have been broadcasting peace messages on 14 radio stations.

She observed that people’s interests and priorities are shaped by their social, economic and ethnic differences, thus female legislators from different backgrounds bring an array of issues to the table for consideration, and propose solutions accordingly.

“What’s more, any democratic system benefits when it has people from diverse backgrounds represented in its political institutions. Women leaders are more inclusive, they bring lasting peace and are more concerned about basic issues of life, including water, affordable health, education and care for the vulnerable especially the elderly, those with disabilities and children,” she wooed voters.

She added: “It is our prayer that this time around, Kenyans will prioritize two things: Peace and electing more women. This is the only way to demonstrate maturity and position our country among the proud democracies that have recognized the value of including all citizens, both men and women.”

County Commissioner Mbui Mwenda recognized the work of grass-root women who he said engage in a lot of unpaid care work. “These women on the ground do a great job in sustaining families, communities and in building their economic wellbeing,” he observed.

He advised Kenyans to vote for capable and qualified women and stated that women are more effective at building consensus and advancing Bills in Parliament and the county assemblies.”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *