Posted March 31, 2021 1:18 pm by

Standing firm against hostile Kisii community Culture discriminating women in politics

KISII, Kenya Mar 31 – Despite the increasing presence of women aspiring for elective leadership positions in most parts of the country, gender-based cultural victimization and discrimination continue to undercut women’s struggles.

Abagusii Community in the Nyanza region has never elected a woman to the National Assembly, apart from the Constitutional affirmative action where the Women Representative slot is protected by law. A pick on engagement efforts by Miss Rachel Otundo could change the dreadful narrative.

Besides her work as a private land economist, the 54-year-old woman is much into politics pushing for change and the narrative in this community that women can’t be elected because they are women and not ideologies. 

Miss Otundo declared her interest for the top seat in Kisii County after losing the member of parliament seat three times saying she has learnt from her down fall and now shooting up to the top seat will be the best thing for her. 

So far she is among eleven people who have shown interest to run for the gubernatorial position with 20% women and now the strongest candidate in the gubernatorial seat.

In Rachel’s view, there is deep-rooted retrogressive seclusion of women who have expressed the desire to take the leadership responsibility. Women in this community face innumerable challenges due to community, social, and cultural norms and beliefs that political leadership and control is tough and ‘designed for men.’ Rachel remains astonished that, “In the 21st century, my community still harbor outdated beliefs that women belong to the kitchen, household chores and taking care of their families, while men should take elective positions and make decisions.”

Born and raised in Ibeno village, in Kisii county she braved a humble background and male-dominated culture and acquaintance is marred with critical and traumatic political difficulties.

However, her resolve to break the gender restrains and bondage remains persistently unshaken in her pursuit to change the narrative of women discrimination. She is determined to get a societal transformation that shall have responsive political structures, accommodative of women who can enhance the people’s livelihoods.

‘’Many years ago, when I was a young girl, prevailing poor infrastructure and socio-political deprivation on women, children and youth in my village challenged me to fight for decision-making space,” Otundo notes. “In other communities, it is encouraging that they have now embraced women leadership and the women leadership and delivery on promises is enviable. I am focusing on providing reliable alternative political leadership and this is Read More…