MP in double win, to share memoir with young women

Nominated MP Milly Odhiambo.

What you need to know:

  • The only other Nyanza women MPs to have broken through the glass ceiling were Grace Ogot who was MP for Gem between 1985 and 1992 and Dr Phoebe Asiyo who was MP for Karachuonyo from 1979-1988.

The idea of political leadership germinated in the young mind of Millie Odhiambo long before she knew what the rigours and intrigues of politics were all about.

After a long and hard look at politics and then a front row seat as an ODM nominated MP in the last Parliament, Ms Odhiambo-Mabona has made history as the only woman in the Orange party to win a constituency seat this time round.

Today, she is celebrating two victories – Nyanza which was the first to elect a female MP in Grace Onyango 1969 did not have an elected female in 16 years and Ms Odhiambo-Mabona is also the only female MP from her party to win a constituency seat.

The only other Nyanza women MPs to have broken through the glass ceiling were Grace Ogot who was MP for Gem between 1985 and 1992 and Dr Phoebe Asiyo who was MP for Karachuonyo from 1979-1988.

Ms Odhiambo-Mabona’s return to the august House after the March 4 General Election was not a smooth sail. She had to fight it out and her chances appeared slim as Nyanza had not had a woman MP since 1997.

“While shadowing the now Senator Otieno Kajwang’ during his 2007 campaigns, I learnt a lot,” she says.

She knew that the big battle would be at the party primaries and her strategy was to bag the party ticket. She was keen on selection of the presiding officers and clerks who officiated in the party primaries held on January 17-18 this year.

During the campaign period, she was attacked twice but chose to remain quiet about it.

“I learnt that when people know you have been attacked, it creates a perception that you are an unpopular candidate and news of attacks quickly catches fire,” she said.
Currently, the MP is writing a book titled Politics Unpackaged: Lessons for Aspiring Young Women where she shares her experiences.

“It has been a long journey. I did not think I could get into politics and I had distinguished myself in the civil society as a good leader and trainer and that is what I knew I was good at,” she said.

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