Women's empowerment in Kenya

GRACE MBUGUA, FOUNDER and ORGANIZATIONAL DIRECTOR OF WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT LINK talks about why women don't run for office.

Importantly while the Kenyan Constitution talks about better representation it is necessary to take action to change the electoral law to achieve that goal.

On the comments to Grace's post we can see the old arguments against gender reform -

First blame foreigners, then cite religion to justify protecting 'patriarchal culture', next talk about merit and there should be no 'easy street' for women.

Another line - women ask for equality - equality means competition - women should compete fairly.

If these arguments fail, what about blaming women - 'women have a long way to go,they are not ready for big roles in leadership due to their jealous and lack of respect for others combining with personal stress,domestic and stupidity'. Nice.

Finally 'These gender issues really annoy me. Why should women be favoured against men? It really makes no sense.'

Equal gender representation is about democracy. Democracy defined in terms where the domination of men is somehow invisible is no more democratic than slavery.

Interestingly, Grace posed the question in her article 'why don't more women just run for political office?'

'... it’s easy to ask, why don’t more women just run for political office? Kenyans are just as likely to elect women as they are men. Our constitution even ensures that neither men nor women occupy more than two-thirds of Parliament, and right now, policymakers are developing legislation that would help the country meet this requirement. But that’s still not law that can be implemented by 2017 elections.