Giving Women a Voice: Advocacy against Electoral Violence towards Women Candidates

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On 19th and 20th September 2017, seventeen women from Murang’a and Nairobi Counties who vied for the MCA seats during the 2017 General Election converged at Sagana Getaway resort to share their experiences. They gave harrowing accounts of violence perpetrated against them and members of their families. They also narrated how the entire electoral process was riddled with numerous irregularities, malpractices and offences which they were helpless to do anything about. Reports to security agents and other relevant bodies did not result in any action being taken. The objective of the forum was to help amplify the women’s voices in order to reach various stakeholders who are mandated with promoting gender equity and equality in the electoral process. These include political parties, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) and the Police. The women’s experiences will therefore be compiled into a publication which will be shared with all these duty bearers. From the stories, it was clear that most women lose during elections mainly due to the electoral malpractices meted against them and not because of lack of merit. Those who participated in the forum were grateful to get an opportunity to get together and share not only the challenges they faced but also their struggles as they pick up the pieces and move on. The forum was therefore very therapeutic for them.

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