Kenya’s future leaders: Empowering women to win

Kenya’s future leaders: Empowering women to win is an ALN project aimed at facilitating and supporting the participation of 15 women candidates in Kenyan politics. The workshop will take place in the Naivasha area of Kenya between 13-15 February 2017, and consists of a range of sessions designed to develop and support the participants in various aspects of Kenyan political life.

The three-day workshop includes training in areas such as understanding the internal ODM party machinery, communicating effectively through different campaign channels, overcoming all forms of political violence, and reaching out to voters through canvassing and on-the-ground campaigning. The workshop also aims to inspire the participants by inviting speakers who have themselves faced and overcome social and political challenges. By combining training sessions with the real life experiences of other female politicians, the workshop aims to provide the participants with the best possible tools for facing the upcoming elections.

Rosemary and Women League Leader

Leading up to Kenya’s August 2017 elections, the ALN launched the Campaign and Organisational Development (COD) Unit, its most ambitious project to-date. With this unit, the ALN in collaboration with long-term strategic partners at the UK Liberal Democrats, aims to aid the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) in campaigning and building a strong support base in target areas. The ODM is the biggest party in Kenya, holding 99 parliamentary seats, but much work remains to be done to empower women candidates and politicians.

Following the assessment visit of the Campaign and Organisational Development (COD) Unit, a key area identified for support of the ODM is in the training and development of female candidates. Women are often the victims of serious political, economic, and social exclusion in Kenya, and despite legal requirements, political representation of men exceeds the legal two-thirds limit. Although Kenya’s electoral system makes provision for a women’s list and ballot, female ODM candidates often struggle to compete with their counterparts from other parties.

Trainers and facilitators supporting this training in Kenya include:

  • Victoria Marsom (former Director of Strategic Seats at the UK Liberal Democrats)
  • Brigitte Dzogbenuku (Executive Director of Mentoring Women Ghana and winner of Fortune/Goldman Sachs Women’s Leadership Award)
  • Christine Jardine (former candidate for the Scottish Parliament and the UK Parliament and experienced political campaigner in the UK)
  • Dr Agnes Zani (ODM Senator and Secretary-General)
  • Irene Oloo (Political gender advisor in Kenya)

The ALN and UK Liberal Democrats look forward to this important engagement with the future of Kenya’s political landscape. By working with promising women candidates, the network and its partner for this activity hope to support the ODM in delivering outstanding candidate public representatives to Kenyan voters.

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