Pastoralist Women Seek lower Requirements for Political Posts

 Posted in East African Standard 31st July 2012

Women seeking elective posts in pastoralist regions want laws on academic requirements amended.

The women said many might be locked out unless educational requirements were lowered.

They said the academic requirements for those seeking women’s representative and county representative should be lowered from Form Four to Standard Seven.

“Many women are interested in contesting for elective positions in the General Election but the academic standards set by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioner (IEBC) will lock us out and we want it lowered to allow those with primary certificates eligible to contest,” said Teresa Lukichu, an aspirant for the women representative seat.

Speaking at Tartar Catholic Conference Hall in Kapenguria, the women said they are academically disadvantaged and urged IEBC to ensure they are given the opportunity to take part in the elections.

Early marriage

“Most of us were left to look after cattle and subjected to early marriage. We were unable to pursue education despite being bright. We should be allowed to contest for the seats,” said Mary Mariachi, the chairperson Pokot Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organisation.

Mariachi broke down when she narrated how her parents dragged her out of school in Standard Five and married her off to an older man.

Lokichu said there were immense leadership skills among the women in marginalised communities but they have been ignored.

“Some of us are born leaders. I dropped of school at class seven for lack of tuition fees but I have all the qualities to become a leader and effectively serve the people,” she said.

Millicent Otieno, the co-ordinator of local capacity building at Peacenet International said women in marginalised communities would be affected by the new elections rules.

“We need to embrace change for the wellbeing of our county and it is time that women are recognised,” said Julia Loburon, a women’s representative aspirant in the county.

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