The Star (Nairobi)

27 November 2012

Kenya: Murang'a Women Urged to Vie for Top Positions

Women in Murang'a county are shying away from vying for political seats. Several women leaders have expressed fears that the area might not achieve the on-third gender constitutional requirement after the general election.

Yesterday, area Maendeleo ya Wanawake chairlady Jecinta Ng'ang'a and Wanjiru Chege, who is aspiring for the women representative seat, observed local women have opted for the women representative post with only one woman going for the parliamentary seat.

"Not a single woman in the county is vying for the governor and the Senate seats and only a few are gunning for the county representative seats," they said.

However, the Star has learnt that many could also be waiting to be picked for the deputy governor's position as all the aspirants for the seat are men.

"Some women think that the one gender rule clause is a win for them but realistically, both genders are losers and to ensure that more women are in leadership, they should vie for the posts instead of waiting to be nominated," said Ng'ang'a.

The women's leader, who is vying for the township ward county representative seat, said it will cost the taxpayer an extra Sh4 billion per year if Parliament fails to enact a law to ensure one-third of women are elected to Parliament and the County Assembly.

Only Alice Wahome will be vying for the Kandara parliamentary seat. Ng'ang'a attributed the situation to fear saying women should realise they have come of age.

She said failure by the women to go for other seats apart from the Women Rep seat will water down the gains brought by the new constitutions.

The maendeleo leader blamed women waiting on the sidelines to be selected as deputy governors or to be nominated saying they should not accept 'peripheral' and 'bread cramps' politics.

On her part Wanjiru said if the number is not met, then the one-third rule will have to be achieved by more nominations. If only men are elected in the 290 constituencies, an additional 70 women MPs must be nominated to add to the 47 women representatives. She said women in the county had fallen in tandem with tradition of the area which has seen men dominate politics.

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