Kenya’s 2017 Election: Daraja Girls Hope for Peace
By Miriam Pineau
Kenya has 47 counties, all of which were previously led by male governors. A historical number of female governors are now in power in Kenya; Joyce Laboso, Anne Waiguru and Charity Ngilu are currently occupying elected seats. This increase is inspirational to the students of Daraja Academy. Yet many countries, including Kenya, still have a long way to go to achieve equal gender representation in politics.
Daraja girls are the next generation of women in the workplace: in just a few years they will be teachers, doctors, lawyers, and politicians. It is Daraja’s hope that the number of female governors in power will increase in leaps and bounds as more and more Daraja girls graduate, attend university, and enter the workforce.
At Daraja Academy, staff are empowering 115 young females to educate themselves, strengthen their voices, and work hard to achieve their goals. With 32 tribes represented on campus, and many different political affiliations, politics are a steady topic of conversation amongst the Daraja girls. Yet these discussions remain peaceful, and students understand that every person is entitled to their own views and opinions. Of course, there is one idea that every Daraja girl agrees with: the public should keep all interactions peaceful before, during and after citizens exercise their democratic right to vote.
Daraja students responded to questions regarding the 2017 election and what the increase of women in government means to them. Mary (Form 4) said that “we pray for love, peace and unity as we practise our democratic right. Let’s have one voice.” Silvia (Form 1) remarked that “the election of three female governors this year has really inspired me and now I believe that women can become great leaders.”
While most Daraja students are not old enough to vote or run for office just yet, we know that the next generation includes bright young women who are ready to work hard for a peaceful, progressive Kenya.