Women in West Pokot urged to seek leadership positions

Pokot women during a cultural event

West FM, 11 March 2013: Women in West Pokot County have been urged to participate in the leadership of the county to ensure they are equally represented.

Maendeleo ya Wanawake chairlady in West Pokot County Mary Mariach has faulted women for not participating in the concluded general elections saying only few women were elected as compared to men.

She said for decades now women in pokot community have not participated in leadership citing illiteracy and primitive culture as main reasons.

Mrs. Mariach added that the new constitution has empowered women and its time they take up the challenge and fight for their rights.

“We have remained behind as women of this county and its time we changed this situation. Only few women were elected in the last general election and this send a bad signal on women representation,” she said.

The maendeleo ya wanawake chair urged political parties to give priority to women during their nomination to ensure women are given enough chances to ensure equity.

It is only Regina Nyeris who was elected as the women representative in the national assembly and one county representative on ODM bringing the number to only two.

She said this is a worrying trend in the political leadership of the county and encouraged women not to fear politics despite many financial constraints they face as women.

Mariach who has been in the forefront for fighting for women rights in the county also urged residents of Pokot County to ensure elected leaders are accountable to them to speed up development and improve livelihood of pokots.

“We want our new leaders to be our servants not bosses, this will ensure the common mwanainch benefit from the county resources,” said Mariach.

Ranked 38 out of the 47 counties in poverty with a transition rate of 60 per cent from primary to secondary, West Pokot County struggles to gain a new description.

With the new political dispensation ushering in a new dawn of prosperity and peace the county is posing as promising economic power house with the leaders who can unlock this potential.

Nearly 50 years after independence, the resource-rich county is struggling to measure up to other parts of the country that boast of clean drinking water, better roads, security and other social amenities.

Cattle-rustling, female genital mutilation (FGM) and conflict with neighbors such as Turkana, Marakwet and Karamojong in Uganda have literally turned West Pokot into a pariah.

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