Having women at the top leadership positions or rather women at high-level positions receiving awards carries with it the misconception that it relates to women empowerment. That is not entirely true. I am a woman person, every other time of the day I will support the women in my life, their business, their campaigns, initiatives, basically positive initiatives led by women.
Women representatives positions in Kenya were created to help fuel and achieve the 2/3 gender rule or the 30 procurement representation of women at the parliament. I would not deny that there are women in the positions that have made quite great positive changes. But my concern is, they were elected to those positions to represent the needs of women which I see less often. I got struck by the two women representatives who encouraged ladies to get into polygamous marriages or they will end up being single.
Polygamous relationships do work, but women should not be forced to becoming second wives if they do not want to. Just to highlight, gender issues are totally different from relationship issues.
Media has been one of the greatest obstacles to gender equality. The shows that air on Saturday evening that advises women on how they are to treat their husbands. When a man gets home, I am expected to get off his shoes, the socks, coat, massage his feet prepare his bath, and have his food ready.
Do not get me wrong, I would definitely do this for my husband, but it is not going to be a condition for our marriage to work. I consider it as spicing it up. Now, this is an interesting line and thinking I should practice it when I get married.
None of all this falls under the campaigns of gender equality, it does not play any critical role in achieving women empowerment, none of this gets women into decision making positions.
These are relationship issues that should be solved between the said couple or they can visit a marriage counsellor.
Women representatives in Kenya ought to do what they promised the Kenyan citizens they will do when they get into office. The one-day appearances during International Women’s Day, Menstruation Day, International Women’s Day, and 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
This should be a twenty-four-hour clock to cater for the women, youth, and children at the county level. Let us engage the women at our counties, get them jobs, let them have training that falls within their interests, understand their different needs.
At this point, it is difficult to evaluate the impact that has been brought by the women representatives since they got into office. And I do appreciate a few who really work hard to elevate the levels of the women at their counties.
The physical representation of women at panels, decision-making levels do not translate to gender equality nor women empowerment. We have men who are gender advocates, feminist and they truly represent the needs of women.