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Gender and Governance

The latest report by the World Bank on Kenya’s economy titled; Accelerating and Sustaining Inclusive Growth launched this week sends a clear wake up call to our policy makers to take a paradigm shift in addressing poverty and inequality if the country is to achieve the desired 10 percent growth. 

The Institute of Economic Affairs’ (IEA) latest report on the socio-economic status of women in Kenya says women have made minimal strides in their quest to bridge the inequality gap. However, this state of affairs is not blamed solely on women but on the prevailing political system.

Kenya in an election year is never short of surprises. This is evident in the voter trends and in the numerous factors constantly at play that make it extremely difficult to hazard an early guess at the outcomes.
In 2007, nowhere is this more evident than in the Rift Valley, Kenya’s most expansive and populous province, divided up into 46 constituencies. The province is also responsible for producing the highest number of women nominees this time. 

ImageThis year’s 16 days of Activism Against gender based violence will go down in the Kenyan history as the year where women aspirants have suffered violence without any concrete action being taken either by the law enforcement officers or the various political party’s in Kenya.

Narrating her ordeal, Alice Wahome, an aspirant said, `` I was attacked by ten men in broad daylight, my attackers kicked and railed blows on me and it is an experience I have never been through before. They even pulled my breasts and I could feel them pinching my buttocks. ``

For those who keep the company of Kenyan women political aspirants and their supporters, lately it is hard not to miss the recurrent conversation that revolves around real fears about violence that is specifically targeted at women, the perennial problems of financing their campaigns and the ever changing dynamics in the main political parties, that make it extremely difficult for women to participate meaningfully in competitive politics. 

The Kenya Domestic Observers Forum was launched at an event at KICC in Nairobi on Thursday. The co-chairs for the organization say they hope to have monitors at all of Kenya’s 35,000 polling stations on election day. The forum will also monitor the political process running up to the elections. 

Wednesday, 26 September 2007 16:05

Vox Pox

Written by

Besides the battle to increase the number of women Members of Parliament through nomination, there is a groundswell of female interest in competitive politics.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Kenya’s most expansive and populous province, Rift Valley. So far, at least 60 women have declared their candidature for parliamentary seats. A similar number is seeking election of civic leadership positions.

As Americans back home and those in the Diaspora finalize their preparations for the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama tomorrow, black Americans residing in Kenya are not left behind either.

According to the chairperson of the committee to celebrate the United States of America (USA) 44th Presidential inauguration in Kenya Rev. Phyllis Byrd – Ochillo a celebration that is to feature prayers, presentations, song and poetry has been planned to mark the day tomorrow afternoon at the St. Andrews PCEA Church in Nairobi in solidarity with their countrymen.

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