Can we elect a woman for women?
Last Week, I was honoured with the African MDG Achievers Award, 2010. This news has humbled me and also given me the zeal and the strength to pursue the call by women and girls in my constituency to represent them in Kenya's Parliament.
Makadara constituency is a low and medium income community situated at the heart of Nairobi. It has since 1963 been represented in parliament by men. A month ago, the Kenya court nullified the election of Mr. Dick Wathika who took office in the 2007 election. The court sighted irregularities during the general election. This decision therefore calls for a By-Election to be carried out for the election of a new Member of Parliament
Todate, I am amongst several other candidates- majority being men - that have declared running for the seat. If elected, I will be the first woman MP for Makadara. Answering to this call at a time like this is a gift to the women and girls that I have long served. I believe that we need some of us walking the corridors of power to make sure that policies that seek to empower women are enacted.
I have considered key issues in the development of Makadara constituency being amongst other the need to empower women in enterprise development, the need to provide young mothers with education and generally the need protecting women and girls from the risk of crime and domestic violence.
Currently, Kenya is debating on whether to vote for or against the proposed constitution. I stand for a YES vote because the proposed constitution recognizes the aspirations of Kenyans and is bound to lay a ground for the establishment of a government and a society that values human rights, equality, freedom, democracy, social justice and the rule of law. The proposed constitution has included gains for children, persons with disabilities, youth, minorities, marginalized groups and of course those who take centre stage in my heart -Women.
The question that rise everytime a woman dares to take elected office in Kenya is whether women are ready to elect one of their own to push forth an agenda for women? Statements such as "women are enemies of their own lot" have been used again and again by male candidates in their campaigns. They know very well that women are the majority voters. Thus they use this fear and destruction tactic to ensure that women stay divided and give a lee way for men who care less about women issues to emerge as rulers.
I believe that women bear the spirit of togetherness and behold the strength built in being a common unit. The spirit that is pressing us towards our success in the fight against poverty when women at their table or village banks can access micro credit for their business. Or the collective bargaining for casual farm labour so each woman can afford food her household. Unity amongst women as we all hold hands in solidarity is a power tool that can take us far into our journey to empowerment.
As I launch my campaign -Lindy for Change- in Makadara, I have seen women at the grassroot proclaim that "this it is our time." The women in their own small self help groups have endorsed my candidacy and are walking door by door, neighbouhood by neighbourhood, ushering a new beginning in Makadara by women for women and their households.
With the world being a global village, we would like to invite the participation of women from every corner, every tribe, every nation to hold hands in solidarity with the women of Makadara. Through your comments, words of encouragement, prayers and even financial support we can deliver Makadara to the the brand new leadership by women.
On behalf of the women of Makadara, I request for your support. Purpose in your heart today to be part of the new begining coming to Makadara. Every of your donation will assist in printing materials, building a campaign website that will engage the community, meet transport costs as we move from community to community in Makadara and other. Kindly take some time and think just how much of a difference your support will make.
You can donate today by logging to my campaign website www.lindywafula.com. You can also follow discussion and comments from the constituents on our facebook page Lindy Wafula For Makadara on this link http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=108826132472859&ref=ts .