Monday, 17 September 2012

Women, Youth and the 2013 Presidential Election

According to the latest polls by three leading pollsters in Kenya – Ipsos Synnovate, Infotrak Harris and Strategic Africa, an average of 29% of Kenyan women support Raila Odinga, followed by Uhuru Kenyatta (20%) and William Ruto (12%).

So what do women want?

More than a quarter (28%) of women says the most important problem to address is: jobs. This is the top concern for only one in five men (21%). Among unmarried women, 29% say jobs are the biggest concern, followed closely by concerns about income inequality and the growing gap between rich and poor.

For women, it is the economy, stupid! And right now, Odinga holds a commanding lead among women. Close to half (47%) of all women say they trust Odinga more on the economy, compared to just 39% who trust his rivals. Among unmarried women – read youth- the margin is even wider - 57% trust Mr. Odinga more on the economy.

In a close election, where women are expected to comprise 52%  of the electorate (and unmarried women more than a third) these differences could be decisive.

So who really “loves women?!”

The candidate who understands that we must REFORM the economy to create jobs and address long-term structural economic inequality.

Whichever campaign can speak honestly and directly to these issues is likely to win over women. Right now, it is the ODM campaign that appears to grasp these underlying issues.

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