Bungoma County woman representative Catherine Wambilianga has called for an increase in the affirmative action fund for women to cater to their needs. Speaking to women drawn from all Sub Counties in the County, she said at the moment they receive a paltry Kshs 6 million per year which isn’t enough compared to a Member of Parliament who receives more than Kshs 100 million. She said women when empowered, can transform the society and make good use of the available resources, and that if the affirmative action fund is increased, it will reach more groups at the grass root level.
She also challenged the government to organize training programs for women, saying with the funds available to them, they’ll know how to utilize them better. The Bungoma woman representative further expressed her concern over the gender-based violence cases experienced across Bungoma County, saying the relevant authorities need to work hand in hand to curb the issue. She revealed through her office, she’s been able to rescue many impregnated girls who are still in school, and they’ve been able to continue with their studies.
Wambilianga also rooted for a 50-50 gender representation in leadership, saying it needs to be factored in the referendum. Kabuchai MP James Mukwe, however, said the nomination criteria needs to be looked into saying the seats have previously been reserved to party leaders and those close to them including their relatives at the expense of those who can deliver. His sentiments were echoed by Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa who said the sole purpose of nominating a female to parliament should be pegged on her ability to deliver and well articulate the issues of women. He said she should be a representative of the African woman who toils to make ends meet. The two affirmed their support for the gender bill, which had been shelved due to a lack of quorum in parliament on the voting day.