Only one woman elected to Turkana County Assembly

Outgoing Turkana Woman Representative Joyce Emanikor (right) unsuccessfully contested Turkana Central Parliamentary seat in a county where only one woman has been elected MCA.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Turkana electorates have elected only one woman from its 30 wards as MCA.

  • In 2017, the electorates only voted for Joyce Emanikor as Woman Representative and Leah Nachere as Lakezone Ward MCA.

Patriarchy is still a deep rooted social system in Turkana County where men still wield power. If the just-concluded General Election is anything to go by, cultural norms and customs that favour men have withheld most opportunities from women.

The electorates settled on Ruth Kuya as the only woman from 30 possible ward units to represent them at the Turkana County Assembly.

Ms Kuya of United Democratic Alliance (UDA) garnered 2,611 votes in the Lodwar Township Ward race that attracted more than 10 candidates. Her close competitor Abdinasir Sirja Nasto, an independent candidate, came second with 2,098 votes.

In 2017, the electorates only voted for Joyce Emanikor as Woman Representative and Leah Nachere as Lakezone Ward MCA.

In 2022, Ms Kuya and Woman Representative-elect Cecilia Ng'itit (UDA) are the only two elected women in the county.

Jane Apetet (Safina Party) and Ms Emanikor (Jubilee) unsuccessfully contested for Senate and Turkana Central Parliamentary seats, respectively.

Ms Kuya said her victory was as a result of the trust men from Turkana community and other communities living in the county, had in her.

Equal opportunity

"I promise to serve all men and women in Lodwar Township without bias for the trust they bestowed in me despite being a woman. I also thank UDA as a party for giving women equal opportunity to contest with men during the nominations and the General Election," she said.

She said she would rally both Turkana County government and national government to unite all communities in the county, and give people the constitutional shares of opportunities for jobs and tenders because they are all residents.

At the assembly, she said she will rally for economic empowerment of women, as this will be a double-edged sword of fighting high levels of poverty and elimination of patriarchal social system.

Ms Kuya said all local leaders should be on the frontline in advocating for women empowerment.

She, at the same time, encouraged women to form groups and venture into businesses.

"The county government should set aside funds for women in organized groups to enable them apply for the funds and financially empower themselves," the one-term nominated MCA said.

She said UDA scooped majority of the seats in the county assembly after recording 18 seats, noting that this emboldens her plans to defend the rights of women, youth and people living with disabilities.


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