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Women in business embark on advocacy ahead of August 9 polls

By Monica Muema

Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organisation has called on politicians to maintain peaceful campaigns as the country moves closer to the August polls.

The organisation’s leadership said political tolerance will breed a peaceful co-existence among members of different communities and save women and children –usually the hardest hit – in ethnic clashes induced by politics, banditry attacks and border confrontations especially in the North Rift.

“During this electioneering period MYWO is calling for peace not only in this region but also in the whole country. We call for political tolerance, peace, a lot of respect and integrity, let us all say no to divisive politics during this period,” said Maendelo Ya Wanawake Organisation National Chairperson, Rahab Muiu HSC during its 70th anniversary national celebrations for the Riftvalley region in Eldoret.

During the just concluded national exams, a number of school going children were not able to do their exams in peace in some parts of the country due to banditry attacks in the Riftvalley region.

Such attacks including ethnic clashes, the organization said have compounded woes for women who are already faced with the daunting task of keeping families together after displacement, providing food, clothing and shelter.

Women are also exposed to sexual and physical violence, their children suffer malnutrition, and they miss school among many other issues.

“We call for a cease fire in some counties in the Rift region e.g. Baringo, Laikipia, and Elgeyo Marakwet among others. It’s painful to see history repeat itself over the years,” said Muiu.

The national chairperson has called for active inclusion of women and their involvement in formal aspects of the peace process and challenged them to be at the forefront in the war against ethnic and gender based violence at national level.

 “We are also calling on all women to play a significant role in curbing the effects of violence, not only for themselves, but their families and communities at large,” said Muiu.

As MYWO celebrates 70 years of empowering women in the country, the organization also called on perpetrators of gender based violence, particularly FGM in parts of Elgeyo Marakwet, Narok, Kajiado, Bomet, West Pokot among other places to stop the vice and allow girls to complete their education.

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