By The COAST Reporter
Kwale county Governor Fatuma Achani has called on Kenyans to stop discriminating fellow citizens on the basis of gender.
Achani says women who show interest in elective positions suffer discrimination in the hands of men in full glare of the public.
Addressing a Gala dinner that brought together successful elected women across the 47 counties, women Governors, deputy Governors, senators, members of Parliament as well as members of County assemblies, Achani expressed disappointment with those who are still embracing the vice.
The Kwale county boss who was also the key note speaker said the last general election several women aspirants met stiff resistance, discrimination and stereotypes from their male counterparts who used gender aspect as a campaign tool against women in the race.
“The insults, stereotypes and discrimination against women seeking elective positions in 2022 general elections were unbearable as they were the order of the day but still several of us were able to thrive through” she said
Achani further said having been the only woman vying for the gubernatorial seat against five men, the ground was very hostile for her since the opponents used propaganda and religion to undermine her candidature.
“Fatuma Achani is a Muslim… some of the Sheikhs were used by my opponents to denounce me in mosques that a woman cannot be a leader and that Kwale cannot be governed by a woman but I thank God here I am today as the first female Muslim governor in the entire country”. Achani said amid cheers.
Achani managed to beat five experienced political heavyweights who mounted a spirited campaign with government machinery against her among them being the former Principal Secretary for Agriculture Professor Hamadi Boga of ODM Party.
Professor Boga enjoyed a political backing of the previous regime led by former President Uhuru Kenyatta, other contenders being seasoned politician Chirau Mwakwere and Chai Lung’anzi among others
Achani challenged women to be pro-active scout for elective positions and not only to wait for nominations but rise through competitive process.
She further emphasized the need for women to initiate income generating activities that will economically empower themselves as well as joining SACCOs so as to get loans to start businesses to sustain livelihoods.
According to her economic empowerment for women is the only solution to increasing the number of women to leadership positions.
Among those who attended the gala are Kilifi Deputy Governor Flora Chibule, Nominated Senator Veronica Maina, women representatives Getrude Mbeyu Kilifi, Caro Omaya Busia and Dagoreti member of parliament Beatrice Elachi who stressed the need to empower the girl child right from the grassroots level so as to take the leadership mantle in future.
The Gala Dinner which was meant to recognize and appreciate a program Mwanamke Bomba Mashujaa edition 2022 gala was held at Serena hotel in Nairobi county.
Mwanamke Bomba Mashujaa edition 2022 gala dinner was organized by citizen TV news anchor Mwanahamisi Hamadi and Kenya human rights commission to honor women with exemplary performance in various fields.