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Raila Odinga revisits single mothers support pledge

By Elvince Joshua | November 19th 2021

Raila Odinga at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) auditorium on Thursday, November 18, 2021. [Courtesy]

ODM leader Raila Odinga on Thursday revisited a pledge he made to single mothers in July 2017 in the lead-up to that year’s general election held in August.

On 27, July 2017, Odinga, who ran for presidency, pledged cheap housing and jobs for single mothers.

“Single mothers are having serious problems bringing up families. They are the ones who know what their children go through. My government will give them low-cost houses and jobs to cater for the needs of their families,” he said during campaigns in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.

“We are going to pay special attention to this group so they can access capital, do business or get employment to be able to look after their children properly,” he added.

Four years later, Odinga maintains that single mothers have a special place in his plans.

“There are many single mothers in Kenya today. They are going through a lot of challenges raising the children on their own. Most times, they are looked at in a condescending manner. We must, as a country, change this attitude and find ways of helping this group,” Odinga said on Thursday, November 18, when he met a group of women at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) in Nairobi.

“They, definitely, need support from the government,” Odinga said, responding to a question on what his administration would do to tackle the worrying cases of child pregnancies.

On May 9 this year – during Mother’s Day celebration – the ODM chief reiterated his support for single mothers, saying on social media: “Single mothers are having serious problems bringing up families. They are the ones who know what their children go through.”

At the CUEA function held on Thursday, Odinga’s wife, Ida, urged the government to step up efforts to minimise cases of domestic violence.

“We read gory stories in the press almost every day; tales of women being killed by their spouses and boyfriends. These are things that we must find a way of bringing to an end,” said Ida.

“Our women must be treated as equal citizens; women must get equal opportunities,” she said, urging Odinga to prioritise women’s welfare should he run for presidency.

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