Women Speak-Building Back after Kenyan Elections
It is a beautiful morning; the birds are chirping and the sun rays are kissing our bodies oblivious of the pain some of our women are going through after the just concluded elections.
“I am sleepless in my house, I pay rent, I am in pain because of the announcement that was made”
“I thank God for the peace that we are experiencing despite the announcement”
“When I get sick the one announced will not take me to hospital, it is my life”
“I am happy this time round women have been elected as Governors”
“Let us continue to maintain peace, don’t die because you are supporting a politician, they don’t know whether you ate or not, maintain peace”
“I thank the Muslims and clergy for preaching peace”
“We should stand with our women”
“Let us maintain peace the top leadership will not focus on you”
“One of my neighbors was killed because he was celebrating the winning party”
“I am still in pain”
“My body has so much pain from all the marks attained during the elections”
“I used to watch television daily to follow up, I stopped showering, I really wanted my candidate to win”
“I covered my television and slept, I am in so much pain”
“I felt pain up until I saw my neighbor as an enemy”
“Lets us have faith in the justice system”
“Let us love our neighbors”
“Some people are talking bad about my candidate am not happy”
“Kenya has no justice ever since I voted”
“I refused to take a birth after the announced the election”
These are some of the beautiful sentiments by our women who have decided to keep peace and build back as they heal from the outcome of the elections.
Polycom Development in partnership with SDG Kenya forum, forged a way in which various women in business can be brought together in a joint dialogue to discuss the effects of the elections on their personal lives and that of their business.
In a democratic society most women know that if they vote their leaders, their issues will be tackled. Most residents of informal settlements are faced with extreme poverty, poor health care, poor housing and minimal or lack of essential services that governs their day to day activities.
One of the women, venting out her emotions stated categorically, “we have voted them in but they (leaders) do not know what I am going through and they don’t care”. Why should I fight my neighbor and yet they are the ones who will take me to hospital incase of an emergency? She strongly spoke.
Elections in Kenya is always characterized by uncertainty. Cases of GBV are reported mostly in urban informal settlements. This year, 2022, cases of GBV have not been recorded at an alarming rate.
On the positive, this year, has seen a record number of 7 Women Governors elected as compared to last election that saw only 3 women elected.
Over 22,120,258 registered voters participated in the Tuesday August 9, 2022 general elections.
Women in small-scale business, are greatly affected during elections. It is notable that majority of women not employed in white collar jobs sustain their families through road-side business that involves selling food stuff.
According to the Institute of Economic Affairs, the periods that precede elections in Kenya have often been characterized by high intensity campaigns. As a consequence, greater focus during this period has mostly been on political communication that is unrelated to the real policy challenges that the country is faced with.
As an Organization it is our prerogative to ensure women and girls are safe and that peace is maintained during and after the elections. This year we are enthused by the level of maturity of Kenyan citizens who have not exercised violence.
As we wait, we are hopeful that peace will be maintained despite the election contention
Peace in Kenya for the sake of our women and Girls is what we call for.