What you need to know:
- Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga wants female politicians to be given the same opportunities as their male counterparts, adding that voters should not judge aspirants based on their gender.
- She says the challenge comes when women aspirants are told to vie for seats in areas where they are married.
- She is faced with the challenge as her competitors in the governor race want her to vie for a seat in Muhoroni, Kisumu County where she hails from.
Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga has called on county residents to give female politicians a conducive environment to contest for elective seats ahead of the 2022 General Election.
Ms Wanga said women have had difficulties campaigning for political positions because of gender bias.
She wants female politicians to be given the same opportunities as their male counterparts, adding that voters should not judge aspirants based on their gender.
Women particularly in Nyanza, have been finding it difficult to ask for votes for political seats, especially in positions that are not gender specific.
It requires a lot of resilience and determination for a woman to be accepted as a leader in the region, and to run for political seats.
According to Ms Wanga, the challenge comes when women aspirants are told to vie for seats in areas where they are married.
Some women are also dared to vie in areas they hail from and end up being tossed around.
The Homa Bay Woman Rep herself is faced with the challenge as her competitors in the governor race want her to vie for a seat in Muhoroni, Kisumu County where she hails from.
"When a woman wants to contest an elective seat where she is born, she is told to get married and contest the seat in the husband’s ancestral home. On the other hand, a woman who is married is told to contest the seat in their parents’ home," the woman rep said.
The MP, however, said she has managed to overcome the discrimination and asked residents of Homa Bay County to accept her and give her an opportunity to contest for the governor seat.
Speaking at Karabondi Girls Secondary School when professionals and elders from Karachuonyo Constituency endorsed her, Ms Wanga said women are equally capable of leading, and should be given a conducive environment to contest the seats.
"Please judge aspirants eyeing elective seats based on their leadership credentials rather than their gender," the legislator told residents.
"Karachuonyo professionals and elders who have seen my worthiness have endorsed me to run for this county gubernatorial post," she added.
Ms Wanga said her administration will focus on the fight against corruption, food security, improved and affordable healthcare among other issues affecting residents of Homa Bay County.
Elders led by the chairman of the Luo Council of Elders in Karachuonyo Magayi Jonyo, and the professionals led by Solomon Obiero, said they endorsed because of her leadership qualities.
She was given instruments of power in line with the Luo culture.
"What we have done is a sign of blessings to her. We have endorsed her because she has proven to be the best,” Mr Jonyo said.