By Reuben Olita
Women from civil societies have requested for their full participation in political leadership in African cities and counties in order to achieve two-third gender rule.
A Kenyan politician and community advocate, Jael Omunyang’ole while making her contributions during a breakaway session at the African Cities Summit in Kisumu on Friday, said the objective of the Sustainable Development Goals 5 are geared towards achieving United Nations Agenda 2030, African Agenda 2063 and SDG 5: Achieving gender
equality and empower all women and children.
Under the title: Social Justice in African Cities, Jael said there is urgent need to involve women in areas of leadership and to be given support by men and governments as a whole.
She added: The target should ensure womens’ full and effective participation and equal opportunities for
leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life.
Jael who stood for Member of County Assembly in Kakamega County but lost in the preliminaries revealed how women who seek elective positions face baptism by fire from the electorate.
” During campaigns, voters pose many questions to women especially regarding land ownership. They don’t trust women who rent houses but owe those who own their houses with high esteem,” she revealed.
To create a fair playing field, the civil society activist urged governments to ensure women are supported to acquire own houses to reduce apathy from the electorate, adding that they also need security from marauding men who often ridicule them in public.
A civil rights and Social Justice Advocate, Mr Boaz Bwaruku said the rights to Housing Convention by Habitat International and affiliate organisations tickles him most.
” Houses in Kenya must be built on hard ground but not sinking sand.In Kenya, foundation is based on the Constitution of Kenya 2010 Housing Act and Session Paper No.3 of 2016.
Quoting Article 43 of the Constitution, Mr Bwaruku called for eviction of evictions from our policies and legal documents, and mindset of public officers who are implementers of the projects.
C.E.O of Linda Mazingira Initiative Kenya and
National Board member Ministry of Environment and Forestry Coordinating all CSO’s doing environmental conservation and climate change action in Western conservancy, Mr Patrick Ikwara said inequality interms of incomes access, food, housing and water and sanitation is a major concern that has escalated poverty to over 50 percent.
Mr Ikwara from Busia County said a merotorium prohibiting evictions of vulnerable people in the society should be imposed to prevent such groups from being discriminated against because of their financial status.
Mr Humphrey Otieno said there is need for a paradigm shift in the housing sector in Africa to allow development follow where people already live, noting that advance planning before settlement should be embraced to avoid cases of eviction.
Mayor of Mandlakazi City in Madagascar, Maria Helena Jose Langa regretted that despite the rapid rural-urban migration in most cities in Africa, no houses have been built for the urban poor, urging governments to lower housing prices for the vulnerable population in the continent.