For years now, Kenya has made considerable strides in ensuring that women are better represented at senior levels, not only in business or academia but also in political leadership. Through the a-third gender rule and emphasis by many other NGOs, progress on women leadership have been made and also empowerment and preparation for them to take up leadership positions.
A peculiar village in Samburu County has formed a basis where we can look, learn and know that women have what it takes to take leadership positions. Umoja Uaso village happens to be an all-female matriarch village which is estimated to have been founded in 1990 and it is still thriving till today. This may sound like a miracle to people who think women are unable to lead.
Currently, Kenya has an estimate of 21% women in the national assembly This percentage came not so easy as it may seem but it took the bravery and sweat of a few women to increase women inclusion in leadership. It is quite disheartening that a small village in Kenya under matriarchy has thrived for 32 years as the rest of the world still fights for women’s right to lead.
Politics, as known by many, is a rough game and if not well played then you will definitely get yourself hurt. Despite such assertions, Kenyans have witnessed bold women take up leadership in the political arena with a zeal and enthusiasm that could not be put out. They have played the political game with gracefulness, not just to show their prowess but to empower women into leadership.
In this game of back stabs and hard knocks play a group of formidable women who have demonstrated capability and resilience towards the stabs and knocks. The likes of Martha Karua the iron lady, Anne Waiguru, Charity Ngilu, Gladys Shollei, Susan Kihika, Florence Mutua , Elizabeth Ongoro and many more others have vividly showed how they deal blows with rivals and the cunning effect of the political game.
Political leadership is always portrayed as a business dominated by men, but now is the time for women to venture into such areas and spill some feminine knowledge to season the leadership. Women who have had leadership positions in Kenya and most parts of the world were no strangers to bruises, no strangers to bumps on the leadership road and no strangers to ups and downs.
At current, goals have already been set and much done to make women strong enough. G.D. Anderson quotes, “It is not about making women strong anymore. Women are already strong. It is just about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” Women as at now need a seat at the table and this initiative can only be achieved through everyone’s take in the success of the initiative.
Women are leaders and women can lead. Let us join hands to promote women leadership and this can be done by not victimizing and not regarding them as community outcasts. For a better future we all need to encourage women leadership and let them speak out as well.