When Theresa May took over as the British conservative leader in UK’s most turbulent time in its political history, becoming the first female Prime Minister since the defeat of Margaret Thatcher in 1990, there has been a wave across the world of women having the urge and believing that they have the necessary potential to compete favorably in equal terms with men for political leadership and influence in their societies. Back in Europe the German Chancellor Angela Merkel is shaping up and outdoing the boy’s club that has for a long time dominated the continents political arena.
This brings me back to my subject on whether our Kenyan women can trounce the men in political and corporate leadership and possibly make this country great than ever before. The 2013 general election at the gubernatorial and senatorial positions gave the perspicuous nature of how women have been held back in breaking the glass ceiling of leadership with some citing cultural inhibitions and biases as the major issues. For a long time the Kenyan women have complained much about gender inequality issues but when opportunities shows up, few are willing to act.
The Millennium Development Goals status report for Kenya (2013) on promotion of gender equality and women empowerment gives a clear description of a considerable representation of women that has been guaranteed at different levels of leadership and governance but most of the representatives have failed to deliver in lifting the girl child and women at large. For instance the women representatives’ performance has been below par with most of them pushing self political agenda and seeking more representation without doing what is expected of them.
The likes of the late Wangari Maathai stood out for what she believed in and proved that women can be the best leaders. The First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has been doing a commendable job in uplifting the welfare of women across the country in fact much more than our elected leaders.
The belief that women can transform this country and move it to greater economic heights can only be pursued if women stand up and chase what they believe in by competing with their male counterparts instead of waiting for ‘free seats’ to be created for them in them of representation.