Nominated MCA champions for women rights in Kisumu County

Hon Farida Salim, nominated MCA, Kisumu County Assembly champions for women’s rights. Photo:Kenya Woman Correspondent
Hon Farida Salim, nominated MCA, Kisumu County Assembly champions for women’s rights. Photo:Kenya Woman Correspondent

When you talk about a leader who is so passionate about women issues in Kisumu County, one name automatically props up; that of nominated Member of the County Assembly (MCA) Mrs. Farida Ahmed Salim.

She is so passionate about women issues to an extend that a majority of the nine bills she has tabled in the Kisumu County Assembly since 2013, address women issues.

From the Kisumu County Maternal Health care bill to the Prevention and Management of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Kisumu County bill, women issues are close to her heart.

The Kisumu County Maternal Health Care bill sought to compel pregnant women to attend clinics during pregnancy and after delivery, in order to prevent maternal deaths.

It also insisted on Kisumu County having a model hospital offering women related services – especially reproductive health services, to stop women from the county travelling all the way to Nairobi to access the services.

“As we speak, Migosi hospital already has a unit offering specific services to women. When one day we get land, we plan to build a bigger women hospital in this County,” said Salim.

The bill which is now an act, also directs all public and private health centres to have equipped maternity wings, as a measure towards increasing the number of women delivering in hospitals in the County.

Rationale

On the other hand, the Prevention and Management of GBV in Kisumu County bill – now an act, sought to among others establish rescue centres for victims of GBV in all the seven sub counties of Kisumu County. The sub counties are: Kisumu West, Seme, Kisumu East, Kisumu Central, Nyando, Muhoroni and Nyakach.

“Construction of the rescue centres is already ongoing in Nyando and Kisumu West sub counties. The idea is to have at least one rescue centre in all the seven sub-counties,” she said.

For fifteen years, Mrs. Farida Ahmed Salim was a lecturer at the Kisumu National Polytechnic teaching business related courses before she decided to quit and join politics ahead of the 2013 general elections.

“I decided to move out of the classroom and join politics to serve greater public interests. In a normal classroom setting, you can only serve up to 30 students,” she said.

Political journey

She immediately joined the race for the new Kisumu Central Constituency Parliamentary seat. She lost during the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) nominations, to the current Member of Parliament Mr. Ken Obura, before the party nominated her to the Kisumu County Assembly.

The 42 year old mother of two has been married for 17 years, and she says her husband fully supported her idea of moving out of the classroom to try out her hand in politics. “I am very grateful to my husband for supporting me. Without his support, I wouldn’t be here today,” she said.

She advised other men to support their wives who intend to join politics and assume leadership positions. “Women have an equal right to vie for leadership positions, but support must start from the homes,” she urged.

The nominated MCA was born, raised, educated and now married in Kaloleni estate, Kisumu City.  She went to Kaloleni Muslim Primary School, Kisumu Girls’ High School and then Kenyatta University.

She said she intends to vie for the Shauri Moyo/Kaloleni ward representative seat during next year’s general elections. “My time as a nominated MCA has given me a lot of experience and exposure. I now want to serve as an elected ward representative for the good people of Shauri Moyo/Kaloleni,” said Mrs. Salim.

She will be contesting against the incumbent Ms. Priscah Auma Misachi, and a host of other contenders expected to join the race as we approach the August 08, 2017 elections.

Agenda

“My key agenda is to make sure that youths in Kaloleni start businesses to eke a living. Most youths are engaging in dangerous stuff such as drugs and alcohol abuse due to the high rate of employment in the area,” she insisted.

She said that her intention to uplift the living standards of youths is drawn from the fact that every parent wishes to see his/her child acquire education, and later afford a decent life either through employment, or through a business venture.

Mrs. Salim said she is very proud of what members of the Kisumu County Assembly have done so far in terms of tabling, debating and passing bills aimed at meeting interests of the public. “In that area, let us be honest the County Assembly has done a commendable job,” she added.

However, she feels that the County Assembly has not played a fantastic oversight role, majorly on corruption allegations touching on various people in the county.

“In terms of oversight, I can say there’s little or nothing to smile about. Members of the County Assembly need further trainings on how to effectively carry out their oversight role for the benefit of the electorate,” she said.

She urged members of the public to refrain from all forms of abuse against women, who come out strongly to vie for leadership positions.

“The best thing to do is to give women and all other aspirants time to sell their agenda,” she concluded.