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Politics and Society: The Pain of Tribal politics

A woman Shares Her Fears

Kenya's president elect has just marked 100 days in office. He is on record affirming his commitment t unite and empower kenyans and to equip them with the resources to thrive; to benefit from all that this beautiful country has to offer. On the surface everything appears business as usual; people go about their business oblivious to the fact that the country is split down the middle.I wonder for how long this unstable peace or quasi peace will hold. There are those who are happy to have won the election and those who feel victory was stolen from them and they are the ones who say they wont rest until their justice is served. Now there is talk about an arab uprising kenyan style. There is reason to worry. This is what one woman said: I respect the president elect, but I don't feel that he cares about me. I want him to speak to me and those of us who lost, first during the tribal clashes of 92, 2007, 2012. We want him to re-assure us that those who killed, maimed and burnt are punished. He must first restore what was lost before he can attempt to unite the county"
I ask her what she things should be done to make amends. " I know too much damage has been done, people died and land was taken. That will take generations to put right but the president ought to reach out more. He must reach out to the opposition leader who lost the election because he has done a lot for the liberation of this country so that those who supported him can feel part of government" she says, adding, there are those of us who are so unhappy about the status quo. We are waiting for someone to tell us lets go and we will go to the streets and that person does not have to be our leader Raila Odinga"
Similar sentiments have been voiced elsewhere and even on social media. The situation is precarious and this is what worries me.
As a mother of two young children, I shudder to think what would happen to women and children should another bout of violence break. Memories are still fresh of the 2007 post election violence. thousands died and even more were displaced. Some are still languishing in camps for the internally displaced. Women and children took the blunt of it all.
Kenya needs help to manage effects of that conflict and to prevent the cycle of violence from repeating itself. I fear that another bout of violence will be worse than the last.

Comments

MaymeL's picture

Hi Wanja, Thanks for sharing

Hi Wanja,
Thanks for sharing with us this story and your thoughts on the political situation in your country. I hope that the reconciliation among involved parties you speak of will be possible and that sustainable peace in Kenya will be possible. Are there many women in the newly elected government?
Mayme

MaymeL

wanja's picture

Hi, Thank you for taking the

Hi,

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.
The answer to your question is No. The constitution required that women make 2/3 majority in parliament and senate representation but that has not happen. majority of women who contested in the last election lost to me. It can be argued that some lost fairly but majority were cajoled, bullied and threatened into submission. The situation is dire. I believe talking about it in forums like this is one step closer to finding a solution.

Thanks again.

EWG

MaymeL's picture

Hi Wanja, I definitely agree

Hi Wanja,
I definitely agree that talking to others and networking on these issues is key- especially for women so we can strengthen our voice. I can definitely imagine how hard it is to be a woman running for election. Empowering both young girls and boys at a young age and promoting equality in schools I think will be key to addressing this issue as well. If they are raised as participating as equals, hopefully the respect can transfer over to politics and other arenas.

Mayme

MaymeL

wanja's picture

Yah. those are the leaders of

Yah. those are the leaders of tomorrow. My fear is that if we no women leaders today, who will mentor the girls of tomorrow?
Enjoy your weekend

EWG

MaymeL's picture

Yes I agree, it is a

Yes I agree, it is a worrisome reality and change is slow when dealing with equality. There is certainly the illusion that there is gender equality here in Canada but women are still paid less for the same work as men and violence against women remains a key issue-especially with our first nations women who are the first settlers in Canada.

MaymeL

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