- Director at Inuka Community Developers Network Lydia Hongo said there is need for the creation of an enabling environment for women to vie for leadership.
- Elder Magai Jonyo said they are holding community barazas to discuss issues affecting the society including that of women leadership.
Insecurity has been identified as one of the contributing factors that makes women shy away from seeking leadership and other political positions.
This was revealed during a community dialogue in Kendu Bay town, Karachuonyo constituency where women said threats and intimidation are hindrance to them when they try to vie for leadership positions.
Other factors include lack of economic resources and socio-cultural behaviours.
During the discussion, several women said they have witnessed female politicians being attacked during political campaigns.
The meeting brought together women from different groups, elders, youths and national government administrators from Homa Bay, who discussed ways of increasing the number of women in leadership positions.
Director at Inuka Community Developers Network Lydia Hongo said there is need for the creation of an enabling environment for women to vie for leadership.
The organisation in partnership with Media Focus on Africa has been meeting different groups to collect views about gender equality.
“Insecurity which encompasses threats and intimidation, is a serious obstacle to participation of women in leadership and governance. Women are unable to venture in leadership positions where there is insecurity,” Hongo said.
The participants also raised issues of socio-cultural beliefs as a factor which makes women to face hostility when they express interest in seeking political seats.
It was realised that the society still has little faith in women compared to men who are said to be getting favoured during electioneering period.
Hongo said besides discrimination at leadership, national security affects economic wellbeing of women.
Most women depend on small scale business as a source of livelihood as this is witnessed during fracas.
“Most women operate small scale businesses so whenever there is chaos or peace instability they face a lot of threat and insecurity. Women therefore are the most affected lot,” she added.
Kanyadhiang Sublocation Assistant Chief Melda Amwata said there is need for different community members to be told the benefits of having security.
She said national government administrators have been tasked with the responsibility of ensuring their areas of jurisdiction are peaceful.
Most chiefs have been organising public meetings to push this agenda. Amwata said security and safety should be prompted by individuals.
“As national government officers, we encourage personal safety. We advocate for people to take personal responsibility on issues of insecurity,” the administrator said.
Amwata encouraged aspiring female politicians to be bold when seeking votes. She acknowledged that women are struggling to get elected.
Opinion leader Ashley Awino argued that women are still facing a challenge in employment. This has led to lack of economic empowerment for upcoming female politicians.
“Political campaigns require resources and failure to get what is necessary for campaign makes a number of women to shut their dreams of being leaders,” Awino said.
During the meeting, participants agreed to share information with police and other relevant agencies to strengthen security.
Elder Magai Jonyo said they are holding community barazas to discuss issues affecting the society including that of women leadership.
“The society is transforming and we need to embrace some emerging issues. We urge women to attend such meetings when they are called because they are meant to provide solutions,” Jonyo said.