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Women suffer less Election Stress Disorder

By Mercy Kahenda - Jun 20th 2022
Excited voter at election center with "I voted" sign. [Gety Images]

Mental health experts say women politicians suffer less mental issues and bodily harm compared to male politicians and for various reasons, according to experts.

She joined politics in 2013, won the Nandi Woman Representative, but lost it to Tecla Tum in 2017.

Kering recently lost the Emngwen parliamentary seat UDA ticket but quickly conceded defeat.

 Kering says women require more resources to convince voters compared to men and she had to concede defeat.

That is despite spending millions in bailing the sick from hospitals, paying school fees for less fortunate and various projects.

“I conceded defeat, because it is expensive to vie as an independent candidate, as such entails using more money,” she said.

 Kering confessed she did not suffer election stress disorder, having accepted the fact that in a competition, there are losers and winners “and I decided to concede and supported the one who won. It was not a must to be an MP.”

Kering says family support was also key and “my spouse, children, and parents made me wear a bright face.”

“Women are known to cry, but I did not shed a tear, I got other activities to indulge on and moved on.”

  Election Stress Disorder is characterised by fatigue, headaches, joint pains, intestinal and neck problems, numbness, insomnia, lack of appetite and psychosomatic illnesses.

Unlike men, no local female politicians has been assassinated during or after elections.

 Most suffer verbal, physical and sexual assaults and even then, they take precautions during election campaigns.

“Unlike men, women politicians are scared of any form of assault,” says Susan Gitau, a Counseling Psychologist and Trauma expert.

They also suffer less stress and depression after losing in either nominations or main elections as most women politicians are careful investors.

Gitau says most hardly put all their resources in elections, as they know how to mobilise resources and support, and when they lose, they take as a team, not an individual loss.

“Women politicians talk and share challenges they face, a trait that applies in politics, that men should emulate,” says Gitau.

With their money activities and capacity for mental and verbal ‘offloading’ of stress, women politicians are also less likely to spend their time in hyper-alert activities like following news of how their opponents are faring.

This results in less stress panic attacks and thus fewer chances of suffering cardiac arrests, unlike male politicians.

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