The gender gap in Kenya’s political scene seems to be narrowing with the election of Anne Waiguru as the first ever female governor in the country who is now set to pilot the affairs of Kirinyaga County located in Central Kenya.
Official gubernatorial election results from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) shows the 50-year-old Waiguru holding an unassailable lead with just nine out of the 659 polling stations’ results yet to be announced.
Nominated in 2013 as Kenya’s first Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Waiguru ran under the ticket of the ruling Jubilee Party, whose presidential candidate and incumbent President, Uhuru Kenyatta has been declared winner by the IEBC with 98.8% of the votes collated.
“It’s exciting! God vindicates. For those who don’t believe, there is a God. I will not cheat you. It is so tough! No wonder women don’t stand. I came very close to quitting. For women, people get personal…, they get to a place where I think they shouldn’t go.”, an excited Waiguru told journalists.
She continued: “They brought my children into it. You see the strain on the family, and financially, it’s unbelievable. We’ve broken the ceiling. We hope our daughters will be brave enough to step out.”
With 201 men aspiring for governorship positions as against nine women, the Kirinyaga governorship looked destined to be won by a woman. Coming second to Waiguru is another female contender, Martha Wangari Kama of the NARC-KENYA party who won 40.79% of the votes as against Waiguru’s 54. 09%