The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: 3,000 Women Aspirants Fight for Party Nominations

More than 3,000 women aspirants in the Rift Valley have stepped up campaigns in a bid to win nominations in their parties ahead of the March 4 general election.

However, Higher Education minister Margaret Kamar says the number of women who have come up to vie for political seats in Kenya is lower than expected.

"We need more women to come out and battle for elective positions instead of them waiting to be nominated by political parties," she said.

Most women aspirants have targeted the women's representative and county representative seats. Few have declared interest in governor and senator.

Kamar said the new constitution has helped women deal with some of the challenges that have been hampering their participation in politics.

Caroline Cherono, an Uasin Gishu women's representative aspirant, said she wants to prove that women have the capacity to run for seats and win.

"I am young and going out to campaign to attract all categories of voters in our county. I have a vision to serve the public and particularly focus on issues affecting women and children," she said.

Cherono has been campaigning in all parts of the county and will be vying on a URP ticket. Former principal of Moi Girls High School, Eldoret Magdaline Sang will vie for governor on a TNA ticket in the same county.

She told the Star women have a better capacity to serve the public in managerial and political positions under the constitution. "Having been a senior principal, I have the capacity to manage the county's affairs. That is why I'm in the race for governor," she said.

Winnie Maru, a frontrunner for the Turbo parliamentary seat, said she is campaigning for a win. In Marakwet, Cooperatives assistant minister Linah Kilimo will be seeking to retain her parliamentary seat on a TNA ticket.

Kilimo will be seeking a third term.In the past she has proved that performance matters more than a party through which a politician runs for elective positions.

"Women aspirants have been facing challenges in the past but we have moved on. In particular my people do not really care about parties. All they want is performance and that is why they have been voting for me," said Kilimo. In Keiyo, former Ambassador Tabitha Seii will be running for senator.

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