More women set to win elective seats in Nakuru County
With the clock ticking towards the August 8 General Elections, many people are eagerly waiting for the outcome.
This follows the gruelling nomination process that saw women candidates trounce their male contenders in a hotly contested race.
Women, particularly, shocked many as they won positions that with the new constitution had been a male only affair.
While there are counties that have women going for the gubernatorial position, others have women who scored big to be nominated to the senatorial candidates through major political parties.
One county that is now in the limelight in Nakuru because of the number of women vying for various positions is Nakuru. More women aspirants in Nakuru County have positioned themselves to fight for top seats during the August 8 polls.
During the political party primaries the county saw a relatively good number of women politicians trouncing their male counterparts in what was seen as a real political revolution by Kenyan women.
Leading the pack is Susan Kihika, Nakuru County Assembly Speaker who won the Jubilee Party primaries to run for Senate. Others include Jayne Kihara, Jubilee nominee for Naivasha Constituency, nominated Senator Martha Wangari (Gilgil) and Charity Kathambi Chepkwony (Njoro).
The women, however, have intensified their campaigns to overcome the odds they faced in the 2013 polls and in the Jubilee Party nominations.
Njoro constituency parliamentary candidate on the Jubilee party ticket, Charity Chepkwony says that the country is ripe for women’s leadership.
“The electorate in Nakuru has realised they can benefit more under women’s leadership as opposed to male dominated leadership,” said Chepkwony.
She noted: “Things are changing because it is women helping fellow women to rise up politically and this is the direction the country is taking.”
Chepkwony reiterated: “As women we will no longer sit and wait to be nominated by political parties. We will fight it out with our male counterparts and from the primaries, we expect more and more women to be elected.”
During the Jubilee Party primaries, Kathambi trounced the incumbent Njoro MP Joseph Kiuna as did her counterparts in Naivasha and Gilgil where Jayne Kihara and Martha Wangari respectively beat their male competitors who were both serving members of parliament.
Senator Wangari says women’s leadership can only be achieved if women agree to it and support the idea. She notes the country is headed in the right direction in terms of equal representation and soon Kenya will be compared to countries like Rwanda and Tanzania in terms of women’s representation.
“Women are rising up and women are electing women and I can tell you the country is changing because women are making decisions on behalf of fellow women. Kenya is headed the direction of Rwanda and Tanzania in terms of women’s representation and sooner than later we will be there,” Wangari reiterated.
She challenged all women leaders who will be elected in the August polls to prove to the country that in deed women can offer alternative leadership free of corruption, nepotism, tribalism and hatred.
“The only way women leaders can build and sustain confidence and trust from Kenyans is by proving that the country can be led devoid of corruption, tribalism, nepotism and all other vices which have over the years been cultivated by male politicians,” said Wangari. She added: “Let us as women prove to the country that we can indeed offer that kind of leadership that the country has been longing for.”
Kathambi concurred that women have the potential to change the tide in terms of representation only if they do things right and differently.
“The country is mostly likely to have its first female governor from Kirinyaga, Kitui, Bomet or Machakos and hence the need to uphold transparency and accountability once elected,” she said.
The two leaders agreed that Kenyan women have come a long way in political leadership and still have miles to cover and obstacles to overcome to be where they need to be.
Wangari noted that women are almost there but they will have to work extra hard to achieve gender parity.
“The day we will have at least 20 women governors out of the 47 and 150 women elected in the National Assembly, we will have attained equal representation,” she said.