What you need to know:
- A study concluded that resources are essential for electoral success, which disadvantages women.
- Some women legislators have, however, made it with low-cut campaign financing.
- Kwale County Women Representative Ms Zuleika Hassan has said she won because she successfully sold her manifesto to the people.
- Sitikho Ward )(Bungoma County) MCA Ms Grace Sundukwa notes that having a weak financial muscle isn’t an impediment to seeking elective positions.
Women can rise into political leadership with little financial resources.
Studies done on political campaigns have shown women to be disadvantaged in terms of finances to successfully vie for elective seats.
A 2015 study by International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance on Political party financing and equal participation of women in Kenyan electoral politics: a situation overview concluded that resources are essential for electoral success, which disadvantages women.
Some women legislators have, however, made it with low-cut campaign financing.
Kwale County Women Representative Ms Zuleika Juma Hassan said she won because she successfully sold her manifesto to the people. She said she did not have lots of money to spend on the campaigns.
“You can campaign and win without money. With little or hardly any finances you can get into political leadership. I am talking from personal experience,” she said during a forum organised by African Women’s Development and Communication Network (Femnet) recently.
“Take time to talk to people and inspire them no matter what. There are people who were told not to support me but they did because they believed in me,” she added during the forum held in Nairobi.
From Bungoma County, Sitikho Ward MCA Ms Grace Sundukwa said having a weak financial muscle isn’t an impediment to seeking elective positions.
“I did not have money. I campaigned without money and I managed,” she said at a virtual meeting, Succeeding as a Young Woman in Politics, held on August 31.
She said she capitalised on women and youth’s movements to run her campaigns.
“I was in very many caucuses of women and they supported my campaigns. I reached out to the youth; I was friendly to them and exhibited courage. This made them support me,” she said during the meeting organised by Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Kenia.
She added: “I didn’t have the money. So, I don’t see the issue of financial muscles as a problem, it is just about how you sell your agenda to the people.”
Akili Dada Deputy Executive Director Joyce Mwambire said girls need to start building their track record of leadership from teenage-hood.
“We are telling the adolescent girls, go to your community, figure out what the problem is, develop a solution in that community and work with the community, proof to them that you are a leader,” she said during the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Kenia virtual meeting.
“This is creating a track record to speak for her when she seeks elective or appointive positions,” she said.
She said with proper civic education at the grassroots more young women can participate in politics.
“Let’s engage in civil education around the basic things like getting an identity card because we realised young women at the grassroots do not have IDs. Let us educate them on their rights or what you do when attacked,” she said.