How do i begin this sad topic? well i already said it, it is a SAD state of affairs. Its is pretty pragmatic that women in Kenya are treated as second class citizens and its a fact. I watched a feature on Kenyan Television that showed Kenyan locomotive drivers that operate the new Standard Gauge Railway built by “our sponsors” the Chinese.
What made me sad is the fact that these two brilliant young and hungry ladies driving the locomotive did something “so huge” in Kenya, that it became a trending topic on social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and who knows, if Myspace never fell off they would be trending there too, but should women driving trains be such a huge event in Kenya?
Women all over the world fly planes, drive trucks, are body builders, are MMA fighters, managers , CEO’S and are generally movers and shakers but do not trend on Twitter. The main reason why they never trend on Twitter is because their respective countries do not treat their women as second class citizens .
Take for instance the forthcoming elections in Kenya, women vying for various positions have been ridiculed by the Kenyan media who think they are doing them a favor. In Kirinyaga county for instance, two women are vying for the Governors post, Martha Karua and Anne Waiguru. The Kenyan media has not even once told us their respective manifestos, instead choosing to portray their candidature like promoting a Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Conor Mcgregor fight, with a lot of irresponsible statements. They have hence brought about a lot of excitement amongst the people of the county who have focused on “the battle for Kirinyaga” instead of what the two women have to offer.
I recently asked a friend, who are you voting for to be the Nairobi Women representative in the coming elections, the guy told me Esther Passaris, the obvious next question was why and the guy responded that its because she is a very beautiful woman. As i sip my tea i want to say this, i respect the man’s opinion and i do not blame him, i blame his perception of women. Esther Passaris will probably win but mark my words she will get around 60% of votes from men because she is beautiful, not her plans for women in Nairobi, not what she has done for women in the past in my city Nairobi but only because she is “beautiful”. It is very undermining and sad that in Kenya women in powerful positions are considered to be in that position either because they are good looking, married to a powerful man or a sex scandal of some sought put them in the position they are.
Betty Kyalo a renowned media personality in Kenya is not known for her prowess in front of the camera, but she is known for allegedly having a sponsor who broke her happy home, Nancy Barasa, is not known for being the first female deputy chief justice of Kenya but she is known for the scandal at village market. Everybody has skeletons in their closets, they have a private life that whether we like it or not we have to respect.
I shall add a little humor to all this, in Kenya, if a woman is not appealing to the public and wants to run for a political position she does not stand a chance, it does not matter if she has ideas, plans and vision.
LETS GET OUT OF THAT DRACONIAN PERCEPTION.