Ida Odinga, wife to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has called for protection of female aspirants during the electioneering period.
Ida noted that many women do not come out to vie for political positions because of the uncertainties in the political field.
Speaking during the celebration to mark 70th anniversary of Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization (MYWO) in Kisumu, Ida said women undergo both cultural, social and political insecurities.
These women can also be leaders. Let us listen to them as they have the ability to do even better. Let us not underrate themIda Odinga
“I know in our cultures, we still hear questions like ‘whose wife is this?’ when we seek political seats,” she said.
She added that it was time for the communities to outdo the culture and support women aspirants.
She also called upon political parties to ensure safety of of their female aspirants.
Ida further encouraged women to not only be voters but also present themselves for elective positions.
“These women can also be leaders. Let us listen to them as they have the ability to do even better. Let us not underrate them,” Ida reiterated.
She noted that women form 60 percent of voters in Kenya, calling upon them to come out in large numbers and vote for change in the August 9, elections.
I know in our cultures, we still hear questions like ‘whose wife is this?’ when we seek political seatsIda Odinga
She rebuked leaders who fuel violence during nominations and elections by imposing leaders against people’s will.
“It is shameful to divert people’s will to your own,” said Ida.
While gracing the ceremony, she also urged the women to keep their dignity and remain strong if they want to see positive government change.
Giving applause to Maendeleo ya Wanawake achievements, she said that there was still need to sensitize young upcoming leaders in the region.
“Hold the hands of these young women and train them on civic education and leadership,” she added.
She encouraged young women leaders to emulate Martha Karua, Sabina Chege and Charity Ngilu who had courageously presented themselves for the deputy president’s position.