• May 20, 2024
  • Last Update May 20, 2024 3:05 PM
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FIDA holds public participation in Machakos to promote dialogue between women leaders and the citizens

FIDA holds public participation in Machakos to promote dialogue between women leaders and the citizens


Friday April 5, 2024

KNA by Anne Kangero

The Federation of Women lawyers (FIDA), supported by USAID-ELGIA convened a public participation forum involving Machakos County Assembly women caucus in an open dialogue between female leaders and the public to discuss issues relating to women leadership and governance.

Virginia Kibunja, a Programme Officer from FIDA while speaking to the media at the Machakos Social Hall, emphasised that the forum was meant to bring women together and discuss how to eliminate barriers that hinder them from political participation.

Kibunja highlighted FIDA’s objective to encourage active engagement of citizens in the democratic process by providing a platform for them to voice their concerns, provide feedback and contribute to governance and legal reform process.

She added Machakos was chosen as a host because of its top women leadership and FIDA was committed to making the citizens understand their role in promoting women in leadership and how to deal with the challenges facing them.

Kibunja also said the federation was assessing the progress and achievements made by the women leaders since they rose to power in the last one year.

“We have worked with the Machakos County Assembly where we have conducted membership training with them and helped the women in capacity building that will equip them effectively to come up with gender responsive legislation,” said Kibunja.

She noted that financial constraints were one of the key constraints that women seeking leadership in Kenya face. Others are stereotyping and social norms that Kibunja said needed to be tackled to promote women to more leadership positions by 2027.

“Electoral based violence was also mentioned in the forum and online bullying during campaigns and voting process discouraged the majority of the women from vying for the political seats,” she added.

A similar public participation forum is also being carried out in other counties such as Nakuru and Kirinyaga to enhance accountability and responsiveness in women governance and leadership and also to increase engagement of citizens in the democratic process.

On her part Machakos County Assembly Speaker Ann Kiusya reiterated that cultural norms are some of the challenges that women face while seeking political seats.

“Women are capable of leadership and can achieve great things when supported, as the Speaker of the County Assembly of Machakos I am equal to the task and have been doing my work well,” added Kiusya.

She decried the low number of elected female members of the County Assembly and encouraged the community to support women and fill the gap of women leadership in the country.

FIDA is a nonprofit non-partisan membership organization whose vision in society is to uphold and respect the rights of women and to also promote women’s individual and collective power to claim their rights in all spheres of life.

FIDA has also established itself as a leading advocate for democracy, good governance and the empowerment of women in leadership roles nationwide.

Courtesy; KNA

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