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September 26, 2020
International Life

How this Kenyan Woman became the First Female MP in her Constituency

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Aisha Jumwa beat out 7 male contenders for a seat in the Kenyan National Parliament as the member-elect for Malindi in the August 8 general election.

Since Kenya gained independence in 1963, Malindi has never had a woman elected MP.

The 41-year-old won the Malindi parliamentary seat after garnering 28,788 votes, a huge margin between her and the candidate that followed – Phillip Charo, who got 14,219 votes.

But the story of how Jumwa beat the odds is what is truly inspiring.

During campaigns, Jumwa’s male rivals tried to undermine her as a woman, by highlighting that a woman has never been elected as the Malindi MP and thus voters should reject her.

Some rival candidates even went to the extent of alleging that if Jumwa won, men would urinate like women.

Despite these odds Aisha Jumwa beat out her competitors and this is how she did it.

Prior to the election Jumwa established a number of women’s groups that carried out different projects all over the constituency.

Jumwa was always in constant communication with each of these various women’s groups, maintaining good relations with the women she assisted.

Women, are the majority of voters in Malindi – these women were the ‘bloc vote’ that would win her the seat in parliament.

Although the win has marked history for women in Malindi is also ended Jumwa’s marriage.

Aisha Jumwa’s ex-husband was not to keen on living a life with a women in politics.

“My husband said If I wanted to continue with my life, I should pay him dowry. I took him to the sub chief to state exactly his decision. It was done and I paid the dowry,’’ she says.

She says women leadership has a lot of challenges, but tells women to soldier on.

“Culture, religion and intimidation are there, but if you decide to go into politics, you will make it,’’ she said.

Her partying shot is that she has broken the tradition that women cannot be elected as MPs in Malindi.

Click here to read more about Aisha Jumwa’s road to Kenya’s National Parliament.

Main Image: The Star

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