Nairobi News

GeneralHashtagLifeMust ReadNewsWhat's Hot

Why just a handful of women show up for demonstrations

The slogan “What a man can do, a woman can do better” has often been cited, but many women tend to keep their distance regarding active participation in protests.

The fear of violence and confrontation during demonstrations remains a significant factor discouraging them from fully engaging in such activities.

Also read: Women troop Wabera street with sufurias protesting high cost of living

The apprehension of life-threatening situations arising from violent protests is a major concern for many women, leading them to stay away from active involvement.

While men may have tactics for maneuvering through chaos, such as dodging bullets and tear gas, and the ability to hide when violence erupts, women may not feel as equipped to do the same.

Physical fitness also plays a role, with some women feeling they lack the stamina to endure long hours of protesting without fearing for their safety.

In dangerous circumstances, many participating women often prioritize their own protection and flee, while men may display less fear of death, leading to their increased activism in such causes.

Despite constitutional efforts to achieve 1/3 women representation, certain job sectors still see limited female participation due to physical demands and long working hours, in contrast to white-collar jobs.

Occupations that require strength, such as heavy lifting, long-distance truck driving, and construction labour, remain predominantly male-dominated.

Also read: Media women in Kenya condemn attacks on journalists covering maandamano

In recent demonstrations, the gender disparity in arrests is evident, with the majority of those apprehended being men and only a handful of women.

The dynamics of protests and the tactics used by law enforcement also come into play, as excess force and the use of live bullets have been reported, creating situations that many women may not feel equipped to handle.

The challenges faced by women in active participation during demonstrations highlight the need for greater inclusivity and gender-sensitive approaches to ensure that all voices are heard.

Empowering women to overcome the barriers they encounter in certain activities, including protests, can lead to a more diverse and representative civil society, reflecting the ideals of equality and fairness as enshrined in the Constitution.

As Kenya continues to strive for progress and inclusivity, addressing these concerns can pave the way for more balanced and impactful societal engagement, promoting the active participation of both men and women in shaping the country’s future.

Also read: Why jobless youth are easy targets for demonstrations