The race for the Woman Representative’s seat remains lukewarm in the four Nyanza counties. In Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori and Siaya counties, only 10 aspirants have declared interests in the seat so far.
ODM Deputy Organising Secretary Rosa Buyu, who is seeking to unseat Kisumu Woman Rep Rose Nyamunga and Citizen Convention’s Party leader Grace Akumu, also an aspirant, say financial constraints and the high campaign demands are making many women shy away from the contest.
“It is true that the race is deserted. Most women are unable to cope with the heavy financial investment required to campaign for the seat,” says Akumu.
The duo says lack of civic education is also blocking women from vying for the seat.
“Most women do not seem to know what the seat is all about and that it was created to help lobby and advocate for equity and equal opportunities for women and girls,” says Buyu.
In Siaya County, three candidates have expressed interest in the Woman Rep’s seat.
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Florence Aluodo, a career researcher and social worker, and Violet Omamba, a director at the Lake Victoria South Water Services Board (LVSWSB), will be battling incumbent Christine Ombaka.
While Ombaka will rely on her development record in starting up businesses for women, Aluodo says she will rely on her resource mobilisation strength, having worked for NGOs at the county for more than 10 years.
Ombaka and Aluodo want the ODM ticket, while Omamba is the Jubilee aspirant.
Migori too has three candidates who have already launched spirited campaigns for the seat.
Deniteh Ghati is seeking to retain her seat and faces a challenge from university lecturer Pamela Odhiambo and businesswoman Fatuma Mohamed. All the three are seeking the ODM ticket.
In Homa Bay, not a single aspirant has expressed interest in unseating Gladys Wanga, who is the county’s ODM chairperson.
Kisumu County Maendeleo ya Wanawake Chairperson Christine Atieno says apart from the high financial demands for campaigns, the seat is starved from funds by the national government, making it unattractive.