Thursday, February 4, 2010

I hold the view that women should fight it out in political contests like Men, what are your views?

RESERVING SEATS FOR WOMEN IS NOT FAIR FOR THOSE WHO HAVE WORKED HARD TO BE WHERE THEY ARE. WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS? I beg to differ with the contents in the harmonized draft constitution where it reserves 47 seats for women. In my humble opinion, this is belittling the strengths of women. A level playing field should be nurtured in our national politics where women contest alongside men to win or loose fairly. Women are not feeble or weak. In fact, men cannot beat women when it comes to lobbying, canvassing, caucusing and finding common grounds on national affairs. Therefore, its high time women are given a chance to fight it out on equal footing with men and not wait to be rewarded on the basis of their gender. That is why I agree with Mr. Evans Machera’s pregnant points in this forum. I think if this clause of rewarding women with seats is entrenched in the constitution, it will be a great insult to Kenyan women like Nobel laureate Wangari Mathai, honourables Charity Ngilu, Esther Murugi, Chebii Kilimo and former MPs Dr. Julie Ojiambo, Phoebe Asiyo and Grace Ogot. Others in the education sector include: Kavetsa Adagala, Professor Maria Nzomo and Eddah Gachukia. These are few of the Kenyan women who fought it out to be where they are today. They didn’t wait any form of affirmative action to excel in their respective fields; a clear demonstration that irrespective of one’s gender, you can be where and what you want to be. Kenyan voters are in for good leaders irrespective of their gender. Women are our grandmothers, mothers, sisters and daughters. We cherish and love them dearly. The Country has always given them chances to exhaust their talents even in the current constitution. In a patriarchal society like ours, women may encounter challenges due to male dominance but they also need to be more aggressive in order to realize their dreams. The iron lady, Martha Karua has done it by rising to party leadership and she is comfortably positioned to contest for the presidency in 2012. Hillary Clinton fought hard in one of the hotly contested USA primaries. Although she lost, she was appointed by President Barrack Obama as Secretary of State, one of the most coveted cabinet positions in a USA government. We should be a society that rewards people based on their talent and hard work. All Kenyans irrespective of their gender must be empowered to compete fairly in politics, education, government appointments, and in Business. That is why I will always be very critical to affirmative action which to me curtails the cultivation of talent, ambition and aiming higher especially on women. Why should 47 seats be reserved for women if we are prepared as a nation to cultivate meritocracy as a principle for tapping the top cream of our society, if we truly want to transform Kenya’s fragile social, political and economic institutions? We must desist from comparing Kenya to Rwanda, which has the highest number of women MPs, instead, we must realize that the Country might be lacking articulate men to serve as MPs or women politicians know how to plays their political game.
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