Kakamega County Female Political Leaders Taking Action on Gender Rights in Political Space

By Seliphar Machoni

Female politicians in Kakamega County have been encouraged to take action in promoting gender rights in the political sphere.

This call came during a workshop organized by Transparency International Kenya (TI) on Accelerating Change in Women Leadership and Advocating for Gender-Sensitive Policies.

Ms. Elizabeth Duya, TI Regional Program Manager, urged county women legislators to continue pushing for gender inclusion and political rights in the male-dominated field.

Ms. Duya stated, “I urge you to ensure that you have equal access to political rights and opportunities, regardless of your gender. This will promote a sense of belonging and help define our societal roles and expectations.”

Mr. Davies Okeyo, Program Manager at the National and Gender Equality Commission (NGEC), emphasized the importance of inclusivity in promoting gender equality and women’s leadership in Kenya. He also highlighted the significance of women caucuses in society.

Hon. Jael Omunyang’oli, Chairperson of the Assembly Women Caucus, expressed optimism that capacity building for female lawmakers would greatly assist them in understanding their role as they fulfill their mandate.

She believed that the skills and knowledge acquired during the workshop would enhance caucus members’ ability to carry out oversight roles and effectively engage with policymakers in influencing decision-making processes.

Hon. Maina challenged the attendees to familiarize themselves with CARNAC’s objectives, which focus on fostering transparent and accountable governance to ensure the effective utilization of resources in their respective counties.

Members were also given an induction on the budget-making process cycle and were taught how to effectively draft bills and motions, as well as debate them on the floor of the House.

The objective of the workshop was to raise awareness about gender equality and women’s rights as they work towards achieving caucus goals. It brought together Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), members of the Siaya County Assembly Women Caucus, and other partners.

Women’s participation in politics is not merely about representation; it is about ensuring that their voices are heard, their perspectives are considered, and their rights are protected. In many societies, women face numerous challenges when entering the political arena, including cultural biases and institutional barriers.

Thus, initiatives like the workshop organized by Transparency International Kenya play a crucial role in empowering female politicians and advocating for gender-sensitive policies. One of the fundamental rights of women in politics is their right to equal opportunities. This means they should have access to education, training, and resources needed for effective political participation. Women also have the right to be free from discrimination and harassment in the political sphere. It is crucial to create an environment where women can express themselves without fear of backlash, as this is vital for fostering inclusive governance.

Furthermore, women in politics have the right to have their concerns addressed and their interests represented in decision-making processes. It is not enough for women to have a seat at the table; their perspectives must be considered when shaping policies and implementing programs. Additionally, it is important to challenge societal norms and stereotypes that limit women’s roles in society and politics.

In addition, women in politics have the right to advocate for issues that directly impact them and their communities. Whether it is maternal health, gender-based violence, or economic empowerment, women should be able to champion causes that resonate with their experiences and aspirations. This requires support from both the political establishment and civil society organizations working to advance women’s rights.

In conclusion, advancing women’s rights in politics is essential for creating more inclusive and equitable societies. By empowering women to actively participate in decision-making processes and advocate for gender-sensitive policies, we can build a political landscape where everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute to the development and well-being of their communities.

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