From running mates to governors-elect, women are showing they have a voice in politics

Whichever way this election goes, it has proven that women can actually lead. For the first time, we have tasted how close we can get to the Presidency and this won’t be forgotten. It is no longer an impossible dream.

Out of four running mates, three were women. This shows that we can have more women than men in a room and the world won’t burn into ashes. Women have always been the minority. They have been the minority for so long and I can’t help it but marvel when I see more women taking up space and fighting for the right to be in spaces that influence policy.

For years, we have dreamt of having someone in charge, who understands the specific experiences we go through as women. We might not be sure how this would translate to leadership, but we have always felt that it would. Representation is important.

When you are part of a demographic, you can identify blind spots easier than someone who isn’t part of that group.

When you are part of any demographic, you can easily identify their struggles well enough to know they are deserving of good policies and empathy.

A few months ago, Members of Parliament passed a Bill that had been sponsored by Peter Kaluma that would see secret lovers, better known as mpango wa kandos, get locked out of their partners’ wealth in case of death.

This is what happens when people in power can identify with your struggles regardless of how meaningless or self-inflicted they are because cheating on your wife is not a legislative issue.

A woman storming your burial with kids that have your eyes is more of a moral failure than a legislative failure.

Millie Mabona, on the other hand, introduced the Reproductive Health Bill to Parliament six times and it was rejected each time. It is sad that such a Bill that would have changed the lives of mothers, who cannot afford quality health care, was rejected.

Of mothers who give birth on pavements or on the roadside, since they are too broke to afford an ambulance to rush them to hospital.

Instead, the MPs, since most of them are men, would rather identify more with trivial issues like keeping their mistresses in control even in death than they identify with women’s issues. 

They will never understand why contraceptives need to be more accessible because they have never had a missed period. They have never lived through a pregnancy scare so they will never know what it feels like to know your life is about to change completely.

 For that reason, I am so glad that the face of Kenyan politics is slowly shifting from that of men to that of women.

The face of Kenyan politics is a man’s face and it has always been. The political space is filled with men and it is generally patriarchal but for the first time in history, we had a woman dominating different billboards across the country.

This is such an important step for the future and even the present. It shows that the power is shifting.

We still need to do more work but we are not where we started and that is worth celebrating.

 

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