Election 2022: Why Aren’t Women Contesting For The Presidency?

Sabina Chege was interviewed for the DP slot

Unfortunately for our women who celebrated International Mothers’ Day just the other weekend, virtually all substantive registered political parties that could provide platforms for them to contest for the Presidency have been swallowed up by men

Has the Kenyan woman been intimidated or even scared from contesting for the highest office in the land?  The Constitution of Kenya 2010 gives women the legal right to effectively compete against their male counterparts, but they seem to have shied away from the contest for unknown reasons.

As Election Day approaches in August, various organizations, NGOs, poll agencies and political parties have released their in-house statistics that clearly show there is no single woman who will be on the ballot as a presidential candidate in the coming elections. Neighboring Tanzania has a woman President in Samia Suluhu Hassan who succeeded the late President John Pombe Magufuli upon his death. She was his deputy while Uganda has a Vice President. The question is why is the Kenya woman shying away from the big office?

Kenya’s major political parties and alliances are angling to have at least a woman as running mate, and with Azimio la Umoja and Kenya Kwanza having already picked former Prime Minister Raila Odinga while Deputy President William Ruto will fly the Kenya Kanza flag, they effectively locking out hopes of any women getting the nod to contest.  Men are eyeing to be picked as running mates in the two major alliances, in Azimio the only two female names that have been floated in the ongoing interviews are Jubilee’s Sabina Chege and Narc-Kenya’s leader Martha Karua, yet the list of men scrambling for the post is much longer.

Wipers’ leader Kalonzo Musyoka has been vocal in his demands for the post or otherwise, others are Peter Kenneth, Peter Munya, Hassan Joho, Lee Kinjanjui, and Alfred Mutua before he bolted to Kenya Kwanza.  The scramble is not any better in the Kenya Kwanza alliance where ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi, National Assembly Speaker Justin

Muturi, Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, Tharaka Nithi Senator Kindiki Kuthure, and Kiharu’s Ndindi Nyoro are leading the pack. There are two women interested in the post, Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru and Kandara legislator Alice Wahome.

This elicits the question of whether the country’s woman is afraid or intimidated from fighting it out for the country’s number one slot. Unfortunately for our women who celebrated International Mothers’ Day just the other weekend, virtually all substantive registered political parties that could provide platforms for them to contest for the Presidency have been swallowed up by men. Resident Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga’s Azimio and DP Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza, effectively sealing off that avenue for women. The women who contested for the Presidency in the last general elections, Martha Karua’s NARC-Kenya and Charity Ngilu’s have been swallowed up by Azimio. 

The Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu in her recent announcement said that she had registered 47 applicants who will have to face the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) final clearance to be recorded on the 2022 Presidential ballot paper, all of them are male. The biggest letdown is the fact that according to that list out of the top 20 applicants cleared only two are women, the rest is history.

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