General elections are key and critical for Kenya as a country and women in particular. The gains for women in the country have not been won on a silver platter but have been an uphill struggle for women since the first Beijing Platform of Action onto which have been anchored women rights for spaces politically economically and social scene. Our constitution derives our international legislation from global conventions. Statutes and Resolutions which take cognizance of achieving social justice and equity through the active participation of women in matters Security, Peace, Economic Political and Social rights. Article 27(8) provides affirmative action for the state to take measures both legislative and otherwise to ensure not more than two thirds of elected and appointed are of the same gender. Article 81 further stresses the same rule should apply to public bodies. As of today this is skewed and needs to be addressed by voting in women.
Led by ACORD and Partners RWPL –Rural Women Peace Link and Peace and Rights Program 304 Participants joined in the official Launch of its Project in Bungoma County ‘Promoting women participation and leadership in 2017 general elections in Kenya. It aims at increasing the number of women elected at county, legislative and parliamentary levels in Bungoma County. The Project intends to harness all strategies at its disposal to ensure the field is leveled to allow voters and candidates meet the 1/3 Gender Rule threshold. The project will address glaring and skewed nominations within parties, work with elders to address cultural barriers and norms, recruit male champions to stand with the women candidates and youth aspirants, enjoin influential members of the community in social contracting to counter cultural norms, stereotypes, educational and economic barriers to propel the election of Members of Parliament at the National and County government levels as MCAs.
Below is an image of male youth in Bungoma supporting the 2/3 gener rule project Launch by ACORD.
The Launch brought together a cross section of leaders from different political parties in Bungoma, Ford-Kenya, Jubilee, ANC, ODM, URP, Alliance Party, NEWFORD/KENYA, UDF, and Independent. The Council of Elders from Sabaot, Teso and Bukusu communities.60 Women Political Aspirants, Key Public Officials, National and County Government officials.10 Media stations both TV and Radio to amplify the event to 1000000 listeners and viewers. On social media the event trended at #decisiontwothirdsbungoma. Shared on WhatsApp group BUNGOMA WOMEN LEADERS and Facebook Page -Wanawake Uongozini Bungoma County.Volunteer Community Advocates based in the 9 constituencies were introduced to the women aspirants. They will identify more aspirants for capacity assessment and campaign for them and mobilize communities and deliver civic education to the citizens in the rural areas. The event was graced by the County Minister for Gender and Culture-Ms. Grace Khayota, who said the following:
‘Injustices against girls start when they are young.’ ‘women political aspirants need moral, financial and security from men.
Mabanga is a significant and historic place its at Mabanga ACORD Partners and stakeholders founded The Mabanga Peace Accord to bring peace and harmony among three different communities of Iteso,Bukusu and Sabaot.Let us make history again here on Women Leadership The elders have blessed you.
The elders blessed and endorsed the women aspirants and gave their assents that women need to be elected and are as capable as their male colleagues,
The event shared out a draft report of the baseline survey conducted by ACORD which gave insights into the position and status of women leadership in the County. The county has never elected a female MP since independence. The revelation interrogated the attitudes of the community towards women leaders and challenged citizens to rise up and promote women rights to realize trans-formative leadership in the county.