Kamala Harris

The name Kamala Harris has been chanted throughout the month, in fact her popularity increased to the point of Kenyans joking that Kamala was one of their own just like the former US president, Barack Obama.

They have gone so far as to christen Kamala with a Kenyan name from western, Khamala, for us to own her as our daughter from Kakamega.

Of course all that was just but a light moment for Kenyans but one thing is for sure the whole world is proud of Kamala Harris and there are so many reasons to want to own her.

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Kamala silenced the world by becoming the first African- American and of Indian decent to hold the position of a vice president of the United States of America.

This is after Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential elections and this is not the first time she is breaking barriers.

In 2010, she was narrowly elected as the attorney general of California becoming the first female and first woman of color to hold such a post. Not to mention in 2016 where she served as a senate representing California to become the first Indian American to serve as a US senator and second African American to hold such a post.

Kamala became the talk of the whole world with her big win as the vice-president elect, so what does this mean for a Kenyan woman?

Kenya has struggled and come a long way to try bringing gender equality.

The 2010 constitution for example included women in leadership with a woman representative post but have we reached a point of satisfaction?

Certainly not.

The country has still failed to reach the two thirds gender rule.

In fact, Kenya as developed as it is among its neighboring countries lags behind in terms of women leadership with Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan and Burundi ranking higher in terms of women in leadership, Rwanda stood out with an impressive 61% to top the list.

For Kamala to hold such a senior position as a woman, so many girls and women in Kenya have regained their hope of daring to break the barriers in male dominated fields.

As much as the country was in a celebratory mood after three women were elected as governors in the 2017 elections, there is still a huge gap.

It has become a common thing to see fellow women coming together to support the less privileged ones to cater for important needs such as access to sanitary towels and even for the well off women.

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The aspect of equal opportunity in terms of posts is still largely felt to the point where the president encouraged women to support his initiative under the Building Bridges Initiative which seeks to narrow the gap of women in leadership.

From this, it is evident that the gap in sectors such as leadership is very much present and Kamala’s win serves as a wakeup call for women to take the lead.

Kamala in her speech touched the hearts of many by stating that although she has broken a barrier which seemed impossible by being elected as America’s vice president, she surely would not be the last in that post.

The statement goes ahead to give hope to women to dare to dream. Just like Joe Biden made the choice of picking a woman of color as his vice president, the Kenyan government can also copy from it and encourage women participation in key sectors.

Kamala Harris’ win is clearly not a win for America only but also for the whole world, an encouragement and vision for a brighter future in every possible sector out there.

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