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Raila’s sister shares the challenges over being an Odinga

Kisumu Woman Representative Ruth Odinga says her political successes are due to hard work and not the family name.

Ms Odinga argued she is the right person from her family to be in politics considering her gender.

The woman representative is the sister of Azimio leader Raila Odinga and Siaya Senator Oburu Oginga.

Other members of the Odinga family are also active in politics.

All of them have consistently been criticized for supposedly not allowing other people the chance to lead.

Mr Odinga has vied for the presidency five times and lost.

He previously also served as a Member of Parliament for Lang’ata.

His brother Mr Oginga served as a member of Parliament for Bondo constituency between 2007 and 2013.

Oburu has also served at the East African Legislative Assembly before he was elected Siaya Senator in the 2022 election.

Meanwhile, Oburu’s son announced he will contest for the Lang’ata seat in the August 2022 polls but changed his mind.

And Winnie, Raila’s last born daughter, was recently elected as a member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).

Ms Odinga on the other hand has been a deputy governor in Kisumu between 2013 to 2017.

She then successfully contested for the woman representaive seat in the 2022 election.

The Odingas dominance on the political scene brought a lot of debate on why the family must always have multiple members vying for different seats.

Ms Odinga said she was dragged in the debate on why her family fronted its members to vie for different seats.

“I was being questioned why I was an aspirant for the woman rep seat when my brothers were also contesting for other political seats,” she said

According to the legislator, her family had six people contesting for different political seats.

She said she took advantage of being a woman in the group and used this as her point of argument whenever she was asked why she was contesting.

“The other four were men leaving me as the only woman from the family to be in active politics,” the woman rep said.

What pushed her not to step aside despite the criticism was gender representation.

She said the law, which she argued was advocated for by her brother, Mr Odinga, fights for the rights of women in leadership.

“I gave the condition that the men should step aside if the pressure continues. I had vowed to stay in politics no matter the pressure we were getting as a family,” Ms Odinga said.

The woman rep said the stand she took made her win the legislative seat.

Ms Odinga encouraged other women to copy her political style to win seats of their choice.

“Don’t be scared by people talking ill about you. Let nobody lie to you that men should be given priority because the law says we are the same,” she said.

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