The Amani National Congress (ANC) party has launched a training manual for female politicians, a first of its kind in the country.
The party has also promised to hold a credible and fair nomination process without jeopardizing women.
The manual gives guidelines to women who aspire to vie in next year’s General Election where the party has committed to fielding more female candidates in all available elective seats.
Launching the manual Wednesday in Nairobi, ANC Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi said the manual launch is the first step towards the party’s commitment to empowering women, politically.
“The party is preparing its candidates for the 2022 General Election. We are intentional in our desire to bring onboard more women candidates in 2022 polls,” said Mudavadi.
Speaking at the event attended by former Nairobi County Speaker Beatrice Elachi, Women Representative Beatrice Adagala (Vihiga), nominated Senator Farlija Haji (Jubilee) and a number of women leaders, Mudavadi said the ANC government will increase access to credit and loans for women in business and create an enabling environment for their businesses to thrive.
“We shall also increase access to other important social services including water and quality healthcare. Our plan must be women. The strategy must be women and the solution must be women,” he said.
The political environment in the country has not been accommodative to women. Over 50 years after independence, Kenya still has a very small number of women in elective positions.
In the 2017 elections, only 172 women were elected to various elective positions across the country, as compared to neighbouring countries like Rwanda and Uganda where nearly 50 percent of elective positions are held by women.
Titled “Towards Political Empowerment of Women in Politics”, the manual guides women aspirants on how to maneuver in the murky waters of the harsh political environment in the country.
Aside from assisting candidates to develop the necessary skills to handle the logistical challenges they are likely to face, the manual provides candidates with tips on how to design and execute effective voter mobilization strategies, budgeting, event planning and resource mobilization skills among others.
Mudavadi said his party will not tolerate acts of violence, deliberately done to disenfranchise women and discourage them from participating in politics.
“Through the party’s Elections Board and AMANI Council, we will put in place mechanisms to protect the rights of women to participate in our party primaries,” said Mudavadi.
He added: “I fully support affirmative action and the need to address the continued marginalization of women as envisaged under Article 100 of the Constitution.”
Hon Adagala said despite the inroads that have been over the last two decades, still women face obstacles while trying to participate in elective politics.
“Structural barriers created by biased laws and institutions limit a woman’s options in running for political office. The manual will help women in disadvantaged circumstances be able to overcome systemic obstacles. We hope to pave ways for women to realize self-sufficiency through the utilization of dormant yet innate strengths,” said the Vihiga MP.