For decades, young women have not been keen on joining politics, and for genuine reasons.
When exercising their political rights, women often face humiliation, sexualised jokes, insults, rumours about their private lives, and marginalisation.
They also experience exclusion, constant interruptions in legislative debates, and have insufficient funding for their electoral campaigns.
Hezena Lemaletian, 31, who graduated from the University of Nairobi in 2015, is a newcomer in politics. She has been nominated to the Senate y ODM to represent the interests of the youth in the August House. Hezena is passionate about tackling issues facing vulnerable groups in Samburu County, the reason behind her joining politics.
“I will provide effective representation for vulnerable groups, including women, orphans and people living with disabilities. Effective representation of the groups is the one thing we currently lack in the county,” Ms Lemaletian said at a political rally in Maralal on March 8.
The youthful aspirant, aptly known as the queen of the north, says it was time for her as a visionary leader to be given the opportunity to bring positive change to the Samburu community. She is the reigning Miss Commonwealth Kenya.
Prior to making her political entrance, Ms Lemaletian had established herself in other areas, receiving recognitions and appointments.
She is the Global Peace, Culture and Charity Ambassador for the Commonwealth.
She is the founder of Pastoralists Sports Initiative that economically empowers the youth through sports and culture to create peace and cohesion.
She has vowed to give her rivals the political fight of their lives.
Ms Lemaletian has set her sights on education of girls and rehabilitation of street children if elected.
The outspoken activist became the first woman from pastoralists’ community to grace an international arena, when she spoke at the African Women Summit 2021 in Dubai, alongside Liberia’s Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, whom she looks up to as her mentor.