The August 9 general elections witnessed a significant improvement in number of women taking up various political seats and Uasin Gishu County had not been left behind.
Indeed, there was an increase in number of women Members of Parliament (MP), notably, Dr. Phyllis Bartoo who was elected on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket to represent Moiben Constituency, adding up the number to two, in addition to Ms Janet Sitienei who retained her Turbo Constituency MP seat on UDA ticket.
The growth in the number of women holding political seats from the national to the ward level across the country is a clear indication that the society had begun to diversify their world view and societal beliefs in regard to capability of women to lead in various spheres of life to contribute to social, economic and political development of the country.
The county also saw an improvement in the number of elected female Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) from two in 2017 to three in 2022. In the past county assembly, there were two elected women MCAs, Sarah Malel of Kimumu Ward who was elected on Jubilee ticket and Lucy Ng‘endo Chomba of Huruma ward who clinched the seat in 2021 by winning a by-election following the death of her husband Peter Chomba in 2020.
Although things did not work well in favour of Chomba in 2022 general election as she lost the seat, Malel was re-elected while Ms Mary Gorreti Boroswa who had served as a nominated MCA in Uasin Gishu County Assembly clinched the Kipsomba ward seat in Soy Constituency on UDA ticket.
At the same time, Rebecca Chepchirchir, who had served in the first county assembly from 2013 to 2017 made it again to the corridors of power by winning the Kuinet/Kapsuswa ward MCA seat, adding up the number of elected women MCAs to three, from across all the 30 wards in Uasin Gishu County.
Women in the African setting, have for a long time fallen victims of discrimination in relation to leadership roles in the society as they have been perceived as vulnerable beings incapable of taking up and delivering in high end jobs like leadership, technical jobs and others.
As a result of the efforts by various advocacy groups who have consistently championed for the rights of women in the society, African women have since been demanding equality in public life and expressed the need to assume leadership roles.
They are now calling upon authorities concerned to come up with and implement reasonable policies and legislations to empower women to overcome obstacles pinning them down in their quest to seek political seats, which include societal deep-rooted patriarchy and systemic discrimination, which play a significant role in placing a woman at a lower status in the society.
By Ekuwam Sylvester