Kenyan women in politics

This morning I was able to attend a wonderful and insightful presentation sponsored by “The Federation on Women Leaders”. The title of the workshop was “Ending Gender-Based Violence in Kenya: Challenges and Prospects”. It was given at the Church center for the United Nations (CCUN) at 10:30 AM. The speakers were Josephine Wambua-Mong’are (Mrs.) (Council Member), Salome Muhia (Council Secretary) and Teresa C. Omondi (Deputy Executive Director of FIDA Kenya).
There are so many challenges in Africa food shortages, not enough clean drinking water, diseases and not receiving education. These problems are magnified 10x’s if you are a women. In Kenya the women are trying to organize to gain leadership roles in the country. They are running for political offices in Kenyan govern- ment. Many challenges face them.

1) Marital Status Influence: If a woman is married they would state she should be home tending to her family and home. If she is not married they will argue she does not have the skills to get a husband how can she maintain a job.
2) Cost of Running an Election : The cost of running for political office is very expensive. Women candidates do not get people donating to their campaign as men do. There are many pre and post costs and legal fees pertaining to litigation.
3) Physical Violence Intimidation and Violence will stop women from running for office. It will also stop them from going to the polls to vote.
4) Of the 8 Presidential candidates 1 has a Women runningmate
5) There are No Women Governors
6) There are only 6 Women Deputy Governors
7) 16 Women were elected to Parliament of the 240 seats

Women are entering the Police Force more they are trying to train the policeman how to be more compas- sionate to female issues. Women officers will help other women that lack information. They will show them how to make complains and the correct channels to bring their case through Legal Court. We were told in the hospitals during childbirth women are not respected. They are treated badly and many times not given the proper care needed.
After attending this workshop I was made aware of many struggles the Kenyan women go through. I know they are strong and I pray they become stronger. If one woman does not have Equality we all do not have Equality.

Reporters: Sherry Johnson-O’Neal, CWA Local 1180 Kawana Scott, Volunteer