Women around the world at every socio-political level find themselves under represented in most places of decision making. Although Kenya has continued to show effort in incorporating women in those levels, though not sustainable at the moment, the country is making steps in the right direction.
However, in the recent past Kenyan women leaders’ style of leadership has left a lot to be desired. A blend of misplaced priorities and restricted tendencies have continually lurked around topical issues that craved for their voice and input; which they barely managed to give.
Recently Ruiru MP, Esther Gathogo, threatened to strip ‘naked’ to protest a fellow legislator’s remarks toward the President and a woman Cabinet secretary much to the bewilderment of those in attendance and viewers. Her actions which were to raise attention to the matter in the relevant corridors of power nevertheless contrast to the little or no attention that was given by women legislators when the bulletins were awash with news concerning the rogue gynaecologist Mugo wa Wairimu and his revolting escapades.
“The truth is that women leaders have failed the electorate. They ought to step up to their duty of representing national issues”
More disturbingly is that Gathogo, like the rest of the women leaders, was readily available to defend influential individuals over matters that were generated from a name calling contest rather than use the same energy in addressing rather more serious issues that concern women and society. In light of this matter how is it possible then, that there is hope for future issues that touch on women to be granted proper address that they deserve in the society?
The truth is that women leaders have failed the electorate. They ought to step up their game on national issues rather than cow to their inner sense of hypocrisy on self-serving interests. Great women in history have championed and even sought to adopt more masculine styles to succeed in fighting for sustainable courses that affect society. A good example is the late Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta.
Additionally, women in power have been modest in championing tenable change. In their quest for re-framing gender balance, they have lost focus of what is important that could actually propel the country in achieving gender equality goals more quickly.
Keen focus on the kernel of key issues affecting society has the power to alter the current dominant majority and the mindsets. Besides, as much as Kenya and the world now needs a new model for leadership that eliminates the depressing syndrome of the second and instead places greater value on those who lead more with emotional intelligence, it is about time women leaders stepped up to their role in society.
At the end of the day, what matters is results and women leaders should collectively advance towards providing proper representation and sustainable solutions required in key areas affecting women and society and not serving their own welfare or participating in ludicrous gimmicks.
This article was published on People Weekend on October 3-4, 2015