Why women in Kenya should stop being political flower girls Author Mugambi Paul

While Kenya scores 81 (out of 100) on the Women, Business and the Law 2020 index and ranks 109 out of the 153 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report 2020 with 0.671, significant inequalities between males and females in education attainment, health outcomes, representation in parliament, and participation in the labor market remain. Over the past decade, legislative and policy reform has established a basis for gender equality across all sectors.
However, despite the strides made, several challenges compounded by the intersections of poverty, age, and education disparities remain, with stark regional disparities. Women, persons with disabilities and adolescent girls are the most vulnerable group in Kenya. They are particularly vulnerable to poverty especially at the household and community is exacerbated by gender-based violence, harmful cultural attitudes and beliefs around gender roles, norms and female empowerment. Limited control over benefits from land and other resources constrains women’s successful participation in the economy, particularly as producers and market actors. Women’s unpaid childcare and domestic work limits women’s contribution in and benefit from productive activities, constrain their mobility, and limit their access to market resources and information while participating in the economy.
On the other hand, approximately 15% of the world’s population experience a form of
disability, with a significant number of them experiencing a severe
disability. According
to the 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census,
about 2.2% of all Kenyans have a form of disability; with the most
prevalent types of disabilities being
mobility-related. These persons with
disabilities face disproportionate marginalization, which results in broad
ranging restrictions on their full and
effective participation in society.
As disability sausage media we observe participation of women and persons with disabilities in politics is not a walk in the pack but women and persons with disabilities themselves can easily break the glass ceiling.
Despite the challenges experiences in the past elections.
It has been established that there was increase in the number of women who were elected in the 2017 General Elections, most Kenyans believe women stand an equal chance of being elected like their male counterparts rather than remaining flower girls. This was not the case for persons with disabilities. According to several studies 17 counties don’t have representation of persons with disabilities even the nomination chances.
on the other hand, Efforts to implement the two-thirds gender have so far hit a brick wall. heading to the upcoming 2022 General Elections as disability sausage media we are now encouraging more women who have an interest in politics to vie for various seats. This should also apply to persons with disabilities.
As a public policy scholar, I affirm what the court has pronounced itself and so too has the constitution on the 2/3 gender quota. To be able to fulfill it let the women and persons with disabilities bee bold and go for all the available seats in the 2022 Elections.

I believe, Women don’t just have to run for the County Member of Parliament’s seat they should vie for all positions because voters do not discriminate, it is them discriminating against themselves and thinking oh in Kenya women are not electable. No! women are very electable and statistics have shown us that.
additionally, Women in the political spaces need to double their efforts and deliver more policy-oriented issues rather than chant the music and elevate the male politicians.
In the current dispensation women have not yet come strongly to defend what deems to be right but rather advance populist emotional sentiments.
I challenge women of Kenya to start demanding for a deputy president position.
In other words, a woman to be a running mate to the already declared presidential candidates.
This will be a way of fulfilling the demand of the constitution.
Are there Hope for Kenyan women?
At least 23 women leaders are eyeing the coveted governor post in this year’s elections, raising the possibility that more counties could have women bosses compared to only three for 2017.
For persons with disabilities most individuals have opted to seek member of county assembly position.
We have Rueben Kigame a presidential candidate, MP for Westland’s who is the only gubernatorial candidate for Nairobi.
2 persons with albinism Senator Mwaura is going for Ruiru seat while Martin Wanhyonyi the current elected Ndivisi member of county assembly is eyeing the position of Webuye Eat.
Will Political parties have any choice?
As disability sausage media we make an appeal to political parties to comply with the two-thirds gender principle when nominating candidates for parliamentary and senatorial elections.

Barriers for women in Kenyan politics:

Actually, Women who have in the past vied for and won political positions say, that they had to double their male counterparts’ efforts to do so.
“Women face several barriers when they go for political seats, for example, if you are not married, people will start judging you on that. Culture, patriarchy, campaign financing, and negative publicity are some of the challenges that deny women the opportunity to go for elective seats.

Kenyan politics also result in casualties and women really get it hard in terms of security and how to campaign and beat their male counterparts.
As disability sausage media we make an appeal to the ministry of interior to provide security to women and persons with disabilities as we approach the elections.

As more women and persons with disabilities vie for these seats in this year’s General Elections, there is a need to empower voters and also come up with policies that will create a fairground.

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The views expressed here are for the author and do not represent any agency or organization.
Mugambi Paul is a public policy, diversity, inclusion and sustainability expert.
Australian Chief Minister Award winner
“Excellence of making inclusion happen”

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