By Dr. Ibrahim Okinda, PhD in Communication and Media Technology Candidate, Moi University, Kenya
1. How do you explain the low representation of women in decision-making around the world, whether in village development committees, parliaments, governments, or intergovernmental organizations?
- Low socio-economic status
- Patriarchy society
- Women’s poor attitudes towards politics: Low to political knowledge, efficacy, interest, party partisanship and trust
- Inadequate accessibility to relevant political information
- Media coverage of women, women politicians and gender equality is often inadequate and stereotypical
- Fewer role models
2. How can men as leaders take meaningful action to foster an increase in women’s representation in decision-making bodies? How can men as husbands/partners, fathers, sons, and other family members, support women’s role in political life? Share concrete examples.
- Men as leaders should: Enact legislation that promotes women’s political participation for instance in Kenya which has a progressive constitution which if adhered to can attain this.
- Men as husbands/partners, fathers, sons and other family members should: Give women opportunities of leadership at family level, for instance allow them to take charge of not only traditional but non-traditional roles in the family; and initiate open interpersonal political discussions at family level involving all genders and give all of genders equal opportunity.
3. What strategies and approaches have been successful in engaging male champions in shifting the gender disparity of women in decision-making bodies?
- Use these champions in village and religious meetings
- Use opinion leaders whether men or women to engage the public
4. What potential challenges do male champions face in being active and vocal supporters of women in politics (or in women’s empowerment and gender equality)?
- Cultural impediments as such male champions may be branded failures and against the traditions of the society they reside in
5. What can be done to catalyze and encourage more male champions of women's political participation? Please share any initiatives or good practices that you are aware of.
- Male champions need to financially supported to do public education