September 25th 2017

Magazine / Gender Matters

Four women appear set to occupy the male dominated gubernatorial seat

The country’s constitution guarantees women a third of seats in parliament but that has not been achieved. Kenya’s male dominated assembly has still not passed the necessary legislation to put the constitutional principal into practice.

By Trizza Kimanitkimani@kenyafreepress.comFriday, 30 Jun 2017 09:52 EAT

From (L-R), Ms Wavinya Ndeti, Dr Joyce Laboso, Ms Anne Waiguru and Ms Martha Karua.

Women have put on gloves ready to dismantle the perception that men are the occupants of some elective posts. Attention now is on four counties where women are seen as front runners for the gubernatorial seat.

Women are  expected to have one of theirs elected as the next governor of Kirinyaga where Former Cabinet Secretary Ann Waiguru and Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua are seen as front runners. Deputy Speaker Dr Joyce Laboso is giving the Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto a fierce contest as he seeks reelection.

Former cabinet Minister and Narc Leader Charity Kaluki Ngilu is running for Kitui governor while former Kathiani MP  Ms Wavinya Ndeti is seen as a serious challenger of Machakos governor Dr Alfred Mutua.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on his visit to Kirinyaga on Wednesday declined to endorse either Ms Waiguru or Ms Karua giving the two a level field to face each other during the August 8, 2017 General elections. Ms Waiguru defeated the incumbent Mr Joseph Ndathi who is vying as an Independent candidate is not a serious one and therefore the contest is between Ms Waiguru and Ms Karua. After the Jubilee primaries, Ms Karua named Kirinyaga Central MP Mr Joseph Gitari as her running mate in a bid to become the first female governor.

In Kitui County, Ms Charity Kaluki Ngilu is facing the incumbent Dr Julius Malombe and Kitui Senator David Musila. None of the three can be underrated. The Narc Party leader popularly known as ‘mama rainbow’, has sustained her campaign as she seeks to dethrone Mr Malombe who clinched the Wiper ticket in the concluded nomination.

Ms Wavinya, who was the former Youth and Gender Assistant Minister is set to make a political comeback after being in the cold following her 2013 loss. Ms Wavinya recently signed an MoU with Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper. In the MoU, Ms Wavinya would be contesting on a Wiper ticket which is more popular in Machakos as well as in Makueni and Kitui counties.

Dr Laboso, the National Assembly Deputy Speaker has already declared her bid for the Bomet seat in an attempt to eject incumbent governor Ruto. Dr Laboso, who will be vying on a Jubilee Party ticket, has been endorsed by a section of top leaders as an alternative for governor Ruto who is seen as a rebel after he joined Opposition, National Super Alliance (NASA).

The country’s constitution guarantees women a third of seats in parliament but that has not been achieved. Kenya’s male dominated assembly has still not passed the necessary legislation to put the constitutional principal into practice.

Women in politics go through challenges like violence which is a deeply chauvinistic society and lack of cash are locking women of elected office in Kenya, East Africa’s leading economy but a laggard when it comes to female representation.

Two-third gender rule recommends at least 25 per cent of the slots for women’s participate equally with particular emphasis on political participation and leadership with its purpose to increase understanding of the growing importance of, and greater potential for young women participation and contributions in all policies affecting them in regards to development.

Their role in the National Assembly will be to represent the interest of these special interests groups they will deliberate on and resolve. And also bring innovation, creativity, energy and use of technology for the development of this country, strengthening young women’s abilities to meet their own subsistence needs, prevents and reduces vulnerabilities to economic, political and socially unstable environments, promotes ownership and sustainability of interventions, help gain entry to target communities and build up trust and social capital.

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