• She said that more civic education needs to be done with a focus on removing stereotypes that get in the way of good political agenda.
Back in 2017, Joy Muthoni tossed herself in the political ring for the first time.
At the age of 25, she was competing to represent the Komarock ward at the Nairobi County Assembly.
She was confident that she was the right leader for the people of her area.
On the campaign trail, however, she realized that her age and her marital status were becoming a barrier to her dream.
“People kept asking me, are you married? Do you have children? Because they had never seen me with a child or even with a ring on my finger,” she said.
While speaking at the launch of a report on political gender-based violence by Siasa Place in Nairobi on Thursday, Muthoni revealed that she had to go and buy a ring to wear on her wedding finger to stop all that conversation.
“I just went to town, into a shop and bought a ring. I wore that ring in my campaign posters and other campaign material so that people would at least shift their attention from my marital status,” she said.
She said that more civic education needs to be done with a focus on removing stereotypes that get in the way of good political agenda.
“If the public is well educated, they will ask relevant questions that will see them make the correct choices at the ballot,” said the now nominated Nairobi Member of County Assembly.
Jackline Ng’ang’a from Siasa Place said that cultural underpinnings such as these stereotypes of women, youth and Persons Living with Disabilities stop them from fully participating in politics.
“The belief that women belong in the kitchen, young people’s time to lead has not come yet come or persons living with disability cannot make leaders end dreams of being in politics,” she said.
She said we need to change our perceptions completely to allow for fresh leadership in the country.