These are the women breaking new ground in Kenya’s politics and society
This article is from the November 2018 issue of New Land magazine.
This is the issue in which Women’s Day is celebrated with a message from Dr. Margaret Busoni’s new book called “The Politics of Women”.
The book is an introduction to life as a woman running for office in Kenya, and offers an insight into the politics and power struggles faced by women in the country.
Dr. Busoni was one of eight people who signed a Letter of Protest in early 2015, urging Kenyans to refuse to vote in the 2015 general election because they said their right to vote had been suspended by the Electoral Commission for the first time in over 50 years.
At the time, women had never been able to vote in elections held in Kenya since 1952. Kenya had used men to vote in several elections before the 1952 referendum, when women had been able to vote.
The protests were successful, and in 2015 they resulted in the removal of two men sitting on the election commission for “deficient performance” and “poor performance”.
After the result of the election became known, Kenya’s ruling party, National Super Alliance, who were celebrating victory, accused them of treason. They were arrested and charged with treason; in January 2016, they were found guilty and sentenced to 14 years in prison.
But even after the men were jailed, the protests continued and more women continued to ask why they should not be able to vote.
At the time, Kenyans had been living under the same two-party dominance for over 60 years. When Kenyans go to the ballot box, they are voting for party A or B, and then party A wins again.
The 2015 election was the first election held after Kenyans had been under a new constitution that gave the right to vote to women. This was the first time in Kenya’s history that a politician had been elected and become a president.
But this woman was not the first woman to stand for election to lead the country.
The country had been ruled by a series of male leaders, who were almost always in the presidential running for office.
In the 1980s, the National Liberation Front (NLF), led by the late Charles Mutesa, emerged as one of the largest opposition movements in the country, until it was crushed by the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU).