Samburu women vow to compete with men in 2017 polls

Samburu and Turkana communities have struck a peace agreement
Samburu community members in a past meeting

Women in Samburu County have declared that they will unite and compete against men for elective posts in the coming 2017 General Election after an empowerment training held at the Samburu Guest House in Maralal town on Wednesday.

The women have also urged men eyeing gubernatorial and speakers’ seats to choose women as their deputies for the country to achieve the one-third gender rule without relying on nominations.

“We have discovered that issues of culture, fear, illiteracy and gender discrimination cannot prevent us from competing with men for elective offices,” said Ms Judy Kimamao, a religious leader and director of Women Empowerment Link, a local NGO in Samburu County.

Other religious leaders from Samburu County have also pledged to use their influence on their followers to help women sail through elections to powerful offices.

Muiru, a church leader said women ought to be given equal chances as they have demonstrated qualities of leadership in religious institutions. He discouraged the community from an attitude that women cannot make good leaders to give direction for the society.

Abdahahi Mohammed, a Muslim cleric, discouraged communities from subjecting their children to female genital mutilation and early marriages, and instead empower them through education to be on equal ground with men.

Women Empowerment Link has targeted religious leaders and community elders from 27 counties across the country with the objective of convincing them to influence their followers to elect women eyeing various political posts in the 2017 General Election.

Kimamo said the elders and religious leaders are targeted in the campaign since they have abilities to make women socially acceptable in leadership.

“This is a strategy for us to ensure that we have met the constitutional demand of having not more than two-thirds representation in both county and national human resource,” said Kimamo.

She encouraged women across the country contest for various political posts in the coming polls.

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