‘‘Like many households, my family for a long time has not been supportive of women advancement since they believe women are meant to work in the farm and do domestic chores, ’’says Ms. Pauline.
When the devolved system of government came to power, Ms. Pauline took keen interest and attended all civic education meetings at locational level where she learnt the various opportunities that were available for women in the County. She applied for the position of ward representative for UWEZO fund and got the job.
Pauline’s core duties involve mobilization of women and youth groups, conducting trainings on proposal development and accounting and representing interests of mobilized groups during County meetings.
The impact of Pauline's work has been felt in the community since she took the position. So far two phases of money allocations have been done where 29 groups have received approximately one million Kenya Shillings. Initially, very few individuals were aware of UWEZO funds however through her mobilization and awareness creation activities, many groups are now aware and applying for the funds. Through this support, activities such as poultry keeping, table banking and other income generating activities have been initiated which have led to increased incomes per households and improved livelihoods .
‘‘I am encouraged by the positive changes in the community that are as a result of my efforts. I have decided to represent my community in a different capacity and will contest for the position of the Member of CountyAssembly .I believe in myself and I thank ActionAid for making me believe in myself through various capacity trainings and meetings. I am willing to take the challenge, until I win, ’’ say Pauline.
However the journey has not been easy for her. The arena is populated with men who have a lot of money making it tough for women living in poverty and exclusion. She also faces oppositions from family members who feel that she is not mature enough for politics and challenges in balancing politics and family affairs.