A Ugandan MP has encouraged Kenyan women to take up political positions to close the leadership gender gap in the country.
Woman Member of Parliament for Dokolo District, Ms. Cecilia Ogwal said Kenyan women needed to embrace the challenges in elective positions and offer themselves for leadership.
“Women should first respond and come out to take these positions some of which have already been created for them,” she said.
Ms. Ogwal said as Kenya fast-tracks on development, it should also improve on the number of women in leadership.
“The country needs to consciously intensify efforts to mobilize women into political positions because they are known to bring more tangible development,’’ said the MP.
Speaking on Wednesday at the Makueni County Assembly chambers during a benchmarking tour, Ms. Ogwal also urged both the national and county governments to put in place mechanisms that would elevate more women into leadership especially in regions where culture and traditions were an impediment.
“In Uganda, we have aggressively embraced the policy of affirmative action and every district is represented by a woman in parliament,” she added.
She lauded efforts by the County Government in adopting the public participation approach in development and underscored the need for Africa to create people centered governments.
“Makueni is a success story because of the kind of governance that is being implemented. It is a government that answers the needs of the ordinary people,” she said.
She challenged Uganda and other countries to emulate Kenya’s devolution to enhance service delivery to citizens.
“The primary role of any government is to provide effective services to its people and the Makueni success story is a challenge to other States in the continent,” said Ms. Ogwal.
Her counterpart, Robinnah Nabbanja (Kakumiro Woman MP) noted that although Uganda had made major strides in decentralization, public participation was a missing link.
“Ugandans are not directly involved in monitoring government programmes and that is what I shall agitate for once we return,” said Ms. Nabbanja.
The MPs are part of a five member delegation on a three day benchmarking exercise in Makueni County whose main focus is service delivery at the county.
By Roselyne Kavoo