Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda has shared challenges that women encounter when seeking elective positions.
Speaking with KTN on Tuesday, Lesuuda said her marital status was an issue when she was seeking the elective seat both in the 2017 and 2022 General Elections.
She said competitors would attack her based on her marital status, but her track record made her stand out among male opponents.
“In this election, my opponents said that now I am married, why don’t I go and vie in Baringo where I am married? So the other time I said I was single it was a problem and now that I am married it was a problem. With women, it’s never enough. But in this election, I made sure I worked to a point where this would be a non-issue,” she said.Appearing on the same set, Dagoretti North MP Beatrice Elachi opined that female politicians are dreaded in Kenya because they deliver satisfactorily.
According to Elachi, women perform better and end up overpowering their male counterparts in service delivery to Kenyans, causing them to retain their seats.
She lauded nations neighbouring Kenya including Somalia and Tanzania, which she said are making progress in advocating for women’s leadership unlike in Kenya.
“We keep on dragging ourselves, Tanzanians are moving, South Sudan and even Somalia where you think things are worst of worst, but in terms of ensuring women are in leadership and women are elected they are doing very well but what happens to Kenya?” Elachi posed while speaking with KTN on Tuesday.
“It’s because Kenya also fears women that when women get these seats men will never get them again, that women perform better.”
MP Elachi said she expects that President William Ruto’s government will advocate for a fair playing field when it comes to political competition and eliminates the present impediment.
“I’m hoping within this term the president will be able to clear completely and we can agree that if we want women to go into competition, we’ll put in the formula but ensure that women will go and compete with men but get those slots and political parties are able to do that,” Elachi added.
Gilgil MP Martha Wangari urged women to run for leadership positions because they have a “high chance of being elected.”
“The scale at which women are being held at in this country needs to be really fair. The standards we have been held to are not easy for women in this country. If you run then you have a chance of being elected, so we encourage them to, first of all, run out there and offer themselves as candidates.”