The referendum bell has rung and all our leaders have the referendum speech on their lips, except the woman representatives. The position is on the death row.
And almost everybody, even the ones not very sure if they want the referendum, want to see this post scrapped and discarded. We all agree that the position is part of the group that is heavily weighing down the donkey, which is now tired.
Article 97 of the Constitution emphasises the role of the woman in the membership of the National Assembly. Article 100, further emphasises the promotion of representation of marginalised groups and women are first on the list. It is hence tragically ironical that women would be considered as marginalised while they got the most votes and the power to stamp their authority on just every aspect of this society.
This they have not done and it has been their own misfortune. The creation of the above positions in 2010 was not so much to consider women as a weak people who needed help or as a marginalised group that so badly needed recognition. It was created to give women a chance to prove themselves. Assert themselves and be a force to reckon with. Too bad they have not done this. There are a couple of amusing moments in the referendum campaigns when leaders standing in front of the masses have insisted on the scrapping of the woman representative’s position. The journey to extinction has started. It is sad yet necessary.
It is difficult to vote for people who do not have the confidence to defend their own existence. Their biggest failure was the lack of bringing decency and the human face to the Kenyan politics. This is what the common mwananchi needed so badly.
We needed women to go to Parliament and be the extra muscle that would enact objective reasoning, advocate the plights of the common man, inject justice in passing laws, voice so loud the need for job creation and decent living, and feature families in policy and decision making.
Yes, we will agree that there have been gaps the women representatives have filled in their own capacities. The people, as much as they will not say it, have benefited from sanitary pads, and funds given to start small projects and even educational funds. This was, however, not enough because even the male parliamentarians have done this and continue to do so and strongly feel that even in your absence, we will still be given the funds.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta came up with the Beyond Zero health programme, it picked up and became a household name. Deputy President William Ruto’s wife Rachel has a table banking project. What do we have to say about our women representatives? So much has happened and we surely cannot feel the woman representative.
It is not too late to change this. Rise like dust and fill the air, do all the right things and shut our mouths with your actions because coming to us again with the same old songs will not work. Pass Bills and be the people’s advocate.
Forget the feminist card and stop sitting pretty, hiding behind the phrase that what a man can do a woman can do better, with nothing to show for it. Fill your baskets with goodies and bring us bananas to eat because this is what you have not done in a long time.
Ms Kinyua is a 'Hansard' reporter at Nyandarua County Assembly. [email protected]