Unity of purpose is a critical survival tactic for any endangered species. This is not a unique phenomenon in our current society set up which is purely dominated by men, and women are considered as a minority on the decision-making table. Historically, women have deliberately parted ways from holding a common ground to stand as one, for a common destiny.
In contrast, women have come out strong in the corporate world by taking up leading roles in the banking sector, manufacturing, and service industry, steering companies to great and admirable achievements.
The proponents of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) opine that the document has given more weight to women issues and are further offering the document as a solution to the two-thirds gender rule requirement as was envisaged by the 2010 constitution, which is yet to be complied with.
Political affiliations have hugely become a stumbling block for a homogenous stand on BBI and other national issues affecting women. Women leaders and those in the grassroots have by design been boxed into taking sides to the detriment of their unity and a stronger voice to push for one common agenda.
Politically, many strong and rising women have found themselves as victims of character assassination and ‘political foot trimming’ from their fellow women leaders, dashing the quest for women recognition on the powerful political round table negotiations making them mere spectators of political deals.
Women have competed against each other instead of holding up the glamorous heels of one who will speak for them and dilute the booming bass coming from the men who seek (and succeed most times) to control the huge female vote of 51 percent in Kenya.
Lack of strategic and united leadership of this vote-rich segment of the society creates a wide division among millions of women in the country who could otherwise ignite a political revolution and bring new impetus in the national leadership.
BBI presents a splendid and golden opportunity for women in politics, the corporate world, banking and insurance, community service, and at the grassroots to come together and present a strong force and multiply the gains for women in multiples.
The BBI opportunity is a litmus test to the women at the top helm of KEWOPA, Inua Mama Na Jenga Taifa, Embrace Kenya, Women in Business, Women in Manufacturing, Activists, Women in the Legal Sector, Women in Medium, Small & Micro Enterprises and Women in the Jua Kali Sector.
If women allow manipulation during this crucial period in the history of our country; and fail to articulate women issues, together, their voice will again be a distant cry with little or no effect. History will repeat itself, and they will have absolutely nobody to blame.
IF WOMEN BOW TO THE FORCES, WHO BY DESIGN DROWN THE VOICE OF WOMEN THROUGH DISUNITY, THESE FORCES WILL WIN, AGAIN!
Writer Anne Njeri Kanina – Macharia / A journalist passionate about women issues