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Why Women Have a long way to go in politics.

By Austine Opitso | March 12th 2017
Kenya women never stop to amaze me. On 10th March 2017, they congregated at Bomas for their much hyped 'Ni Mama Conference.

This meeting seemed like one of their usual 'Chama' meeting where they discuss their usual hearsays.

Kenyan women never change- they keeping the same things the same way over and over again expecting different results.

Their talk centered on how to battle against men so as to fulfill the 2/3 constitutional rule. Some even dreamed further for a 50/50 sharing of political positions.

I at one time confused the meeting with a matrimonial court proceeding discussing the scramble and partitioning of hardworking man's wealth earned through toil.

The conference got me thinking on what could be really deterring women from getting the political spotlight that I am accustomed to.

 It reminded me of campus politics especially when it came to this gender thing. We could reserve positions in the Governing Council for the ladies.

 Even without mentioning it was not only obvious but also automatic which gender took home the Chairman and secretary general positions.

It was never an easy task dealing with ladies, that apart from setting aside posts for the ladies we had to send them a team of beggars to plead with them vie.

After begging them you had not to help them but collect for them required signatures. "Imagine after doing all these for them they would confidently tell you” Eish! Like seriously, who had money?

It is HELB that dutifully sponsored our campaigns and of course our micro-dollars from 'mjengo' earned during long holidays.
Pray God that she went unopposed because if not you would be slapped with hefty bills of her campaign expenditures.

Those of us often called The Elders were dearly punished with bombulous expenditure just for trying to help the ladies realise their political potentials in campus.

Women empowerment is very paramount for both social and economic development of any democracy.
But we must tell our women not harshly but boldly the truth on why we have only a handful of them holding political positions in the country.

Unlike men, most of our women in their youthful ages don’t want to be involved or even associated with politics.

While men are volunteering in political parties’ activists and other political activities for recognition, young women are busy superstitiously craving for recognition as socialites seeking ungodly attention.

Yes, socialites, busy posting their nude photos in the social media. They are ferociously marketing their anatomies and being sycophant’s of soap operas.

They are suffering from 'The Alejandro miasma' - a mental infection affecting soap opera addicts.

When they are finally in their 40s; when menopause finally catches up with them they from nowhere now want to graduate from the socialites we know to politicians.

Politics is a serious business that needs serious investors pumping serious investments- no monkey business here.
 It is at this stage that you see our streets heavily littered and strongly contaminated by scandlers calling themselves gender masquerading as champions of women rights.

At this point these socialites are busy in every lodge canvassing for nominated posts and when they are finally nominated they start parroting how male legislators are not supportive.

Finally the other reason for gender inequality in our politics is the often poor marketing by our female politicians.

 Strategic marketing is essential to politics just as in any other serious business. Our women use same grand old and ineffective slogans for their campaigns.

You meet campaign messages like "Wang'ni to en mama" in Dholuo loosely translated as "This round it is a woman”. Yes, you are a woman. So what!!

You being a woman is of no use to the electorate. Give us something concrete, something tangible, something hopeful, something inspirational.

Women must package themselves as marketable brands that voters can confidently window-shop.

Our lady politicians should stop being women and start being leaders. We are an African society, so the way we look at you is directly proportional to the way you present yourself.

Truth be told, Africans are not led by their Women but their Leaders. It's up to our women politicians to decide whether they want to present themselves as Leaders or as Women.
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