LEADERSHIP

Nyeri DG Karugu tells women to claim their stake in politics

"We are here for the long-haul and we must be focused," Karugu.

In Summary

•Karugu said that systemic factors that have worked against women participation in political leadership have been talked about for long.

•"We must instead organise to transcend and overcome these historical issues," Karugu said.

Nyeri Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu during the “Women Must Lead” dialogue in Nyeri on Thursday.
Nyeri Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu during the “Women Must Lead” dialogue in Nyeri on Thursday.
Image: EUTYCAS MUCHIRI

Nyeri Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu has said that women must claim their rightful stake in political leadership in the country.

Speaking as she addressed a Women Must Lead forum organised by the African Women's Development and Communications Network, Karugu said that systemic factors that have worked against women participation in political leadership have been talked about for long.

She said that worrying about it will not help the situation.

"We must instead organise to transcend and overcome these historical issues," Karugu said.

"To organize, we must, first, be bold and assertive; second, we must be tactical and strategic; and third, we must also be visionary and play the long game."

This comes as the Deputy Governor moved to court over the withholding of her salary, allowances, emoluments, benefits and services.

County secretary Ben Gachichio and Governor Mutahi Kahiga were named as the first and second respondents in the matter certified as urgent.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor said women must be bold because the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 advocates for equal rights and opportunities, and they therefore, deserve half of the political leadership.

She noted that they have for long been advocating for the two-third gender representation, which is only the minimum required by the constitution.

"We must raise the stakes and demand or challenge for half! The two-thirds gender rule is a minimum or floor: let us henceforth instead claim what is due to us – half!" the DG said.

Karugu said women must be tactical by aligning themselves to where they can secure the 50% share in political leadership, or explore the option of a political party lead by women and dedicated to the cause of women.

She added that achieving this will not be in a flash and that women must be visionary and think ahead.

"We will enjoy successes but also suffer reversals: a long-game ensures we keep our eyes on the prize. In a race, a hurdle is only seen if we take our eye off the finishing line," Karugu added.