So yesterday tweeps had the unfortunate duty of discussing the Gender Rule…Again! I say unfortunate because however much we talk about the 2/3 gender rule we will always come to the conclusion that you can’t force the electorate to vote in someone if they do not so wish. Now 5 months ago I posted a post that was meant to belittle the so-called Alpha-females who at the same time demand for this piece of law to be implemented, crawled back into my shell praying nothing would get me back up. I mean at times I almost lost my cool (you’ll agree f you see the number of drafts I’ve got) with things like ODM/CORD constantly being on the defensive and reactive positions (why can’t this group change the tone and be on the offensive for a change) then there was the unwarranted and stupid public outcry over Bahati’s stunt at a privately-sponsored public rally (Kenyans with their entitlement issues) and the list continues. Isn’t it thus amusing that the very last topic I rambled about is the same one that would bring me back here again?
Let’s get something straight. I’m the most leftist any liberal can be. I just don’t support women empowerment, I am for gender equity. But today it’s not really an issue of gender equality. It’s of future leaders wanting to be handed their leadership roles on a silver platter. I need to have faith in my leader to be able to combat any situation and I don’t see that happening if said leader got their (I’ll start using gender-specific pronouns after this) positions through a functionality that didn’t guarantee finding the best. Here’s one tweet I find really catchy and by far the only sensible one in the FOR #GenderRuleKENYA Team.
But is it really empowering if you give out handouts? Isn’t that what you’re doing when you set aside seats like Women Reps to satisfy the female egos. Or can you tell me what else the holders of that position have done for the four years they’ve been in parliament? We have a phrase in my culture that goes “mia olowu kar rech.” Loosely translates to “Give me a fishing pole instead of fish.” The statement is self explanatory.
There was also this one whom I tried to reason with.
I fail to understand how our constitution as is does not guarantee equal opportunities for people of any economic or social background. There is a no discrimination clause somewhere in between those pages. (Full Disclosure: never read the book.) So we argued about her use of the term earn. Well it wasn’t really an argument as much as it was a statement of a fact. I told her there is no way the women will be earning their seats if they get no competition and she requested to revisit the meaning of the term earn so I pulled a definition from merriam-webster
“Earn.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 6 Oct. 2016.
//In case it doesn’t appear as I expect it to after post here is the meaning verbatim
1 a : to receive as return for effort and especially for work done or services rendered b : to bring in by way of return <bonds earning 10 percent interest>
2 a : to come to be duly worthy of or entitled or suited to <she earned a promotion> b : to make worthy of or obtain for <the suggestion earned him a promotion>
She never responded after that.
And finally there is this train of tweets that loosely purports that male members of legislative houses do not represent women’s interest.
That’s what I and most people out there get when we see tweets like these. That’s what you mean!
Let me remind you that there was a woman in the ballot during the 2013 General Election and the 52% that @EmpressFionah just quoted above didn’t vote for her. Why? Because leadership is based on meritocracy and not gender-bias; the feeling of belonging with another in this case. If it was really about women knowing what women need they never would have chosen Uhuru over Karua and many other male MPs who had female competition and with majority of the populace in their constituencies being women.
I’d like to conclude by saying that women can capture leadership positions without any special preferences being put in place as evidenced by the democratically elected women in parliament. Icons like Millie Odhiambo and Hon Gathogo. You just need to find out what they did to win their seats and am sure the answer will be a simple “Impressing your voters like hell!”
And now I’ll leave you with a quote from Colin Powell;