As one quote says, a strong woman won’t let anyone get the best of her but a woman of strength gives the best of herself to everyone.
It is in this regard that various Non-Governmental organisations including ACORD Kenya have been working with women political aspirants in Kenya with a focus in Kisumu and Migori since January 2012.
“The initiative has been geared towards encouraging women to actively participate in leadership; in specific having women vie for legislative and governance positions through the electoral process,” a statement from the organisation says.
According to the body, many women have been supported to gain a better understanding of the political landscape in which they operate.
The programme also organised a learning tour to Rwanda for the women aimed at enhancing their participation in conflict prevention and peace building.
“The women in the program benefited through the learning of powerful lessons from their women counterparts in Rwanda and testimonies and stories following the 1994 genocide were prominent during their discussion,” the statement revealed.
The tour was an attempt by ACORD Kenya to underscore the need for lasting peace for the exercise of sustainable leadership and power.
The statement further indicated that achieving the program outcomes has had its challenges but great strides have been made through a combination of strategies and initiatives.
“Ensuring that women themselves are confident in their ability to lead has helped increase their self esteem,” it said.
It added that as part of the program’s key outcomes, civic education on violence against women aspirants formed a key component of the discussions that were held by ACORD and partners with communities.
It pointed out that community members were challenged to commit to working and protecting women vying for leadership positions as a way of minimizing incidents of harassment and intimidation.
The net result has been a much more conducive atmosphere for women aspirants with adequate community support and protection during the process to exercise their democratic rights as they saw fit.
Much progress is evident in regards to women representation in Kenya as the new constitution provides room for their participation in legislation and governance.