Despite legislation and policy aimed at increasing women’s representation in politics, their ability to
claim space has been hampered by their failure to get equal access to political and campaign funding.
The challenges begin from the party primary contests where female candidates have to compete against
male counterparts who are often well resourced because they have access to assets like land and property
and often are able to draw from family funds to finance campaigns without seeking their spousal
approval, which is sometimes the case for women.
Even when they try to fundraise women are sometimes subjected to sexual harassment by donors. As a result, women end up self-financing, sacrificing any little resources they have and when they fail to make it in the contests could end up suffering emotional trauma and distress, which is a deterrent to other women who may have sought political office.
In view of these challenges, women in politics say they will continue to agitate for equal representation
and access to finance by pushing for penalties on parties that fail to increase female candidates and to
fund them the same way as their male counterparts.
They also want interest-free loan facilities through institutions like the Women’s bank for prospective candidates to start up bankable projects that will help raise money for campaigns. Furthermore, they have asked for the Gender Commission and Ministry of Women’s affairs to play a more supportive role to them as they continue their push for equal representation and participation in local politics.