Women Political Candidates’ Security Status and their Participation in Political Leadership Positions in Nairobi City County, Kenya
AbstractThis study analyzed women political candidates’ security status and their participation in political leadership in Kenya. Specific objectives included to establish the level of security for women political candidates, perpetrators of political insecurity, motive for political threats, and the survival tactics used by women political candidates. The study was anchored on conflict theory, standpoint theory, and feminism theory. A cross-sectional descriptive research design was adopted where the target population comprised 125 Members of County Assembly (MCAs) in Nairobi City County. Census was used to involve all of them in the study and a structured questionnaire applied for data collection. The findings established that security for women political candidates in Kenya was a serious issue, with more than 55% of the respondents having witnessed gender-based political violence against women political candidates. Perpetrators of the threats included close family members and political opponents. Common threats included bodily harm, sexual harassment, and embarrassments. Motives for political insecurity included jealousy by detractors/opponents, given the competitive nature of politics. The study concluded that women political candidates in Kenya stand higher security risks than their men counterparts. The study recommended the need for the IEBC to effectively protect all political candidates during campaigns regardless of gender.
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