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Martha Karua downplays 'iron lady' tag on international media

By Winfrey Owino - Jun 22nd 2022
Azimio presidential running mate Martha Karua.[File, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition presidential running mate Martha Karua has downplayed the ‘iron lady’ tag which has been used on many platforms to describe her.

The name came by as a result of her stern adherence to the law, which was clearly witnessed in the last two regimes she served in as a Minister and Gichugu MP.

Karua goes down in history as the only woman to have walked out during president Moi’s speech at a past event, and even resigned from President Kibaki’s government on grounds of non-adherence to the law.

In a report filed by Reuters Africa, Karua says that the name ‘iron lady’ is a demonstration of how society views a good female leader as an extraordinary trait.

“I think that [iron lady] is just a demonstration that good leadership in women is seen as an exception of the norm,” she told the international media outlet.

“This is because I have not heard of ‘iron men’ anywhere. A strong man is seen as the norm but if a woman comes in strongly, she has to have names. If you are not called ‘iron’ you will be called abrasive when a man will be called strong,” she added.

She has been in Kenyan politics since 1992 when she ran for the Gichugu constituency seat successfully.

She served in parliament and as a minister of the government up to April 6, 2009, when she resigned as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs citing frustrations in discharging her duties in the former president Mwai Kibaki’s regime.

She made an attempt at the presidency in 2013 unsuccessfully and has been out of active politics for the last decade.

She made a comeback when she joined the Raila Odinga-led Azimio la Umoja coalition and got picked as the running mate ahead of the August 9 polls.

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