Third Eye

End marginalisation of minority groups

Friday, September 20th, 2019 00:00 |

The National Gender and Equality Commission has accused the government and political parties of marginalisation of minority communities.

The problem is especially pronounced in counties, where such communities continue, at best, to languish in peripheral roles and at worst, are totally ignored.

Some citizens feel that their right to health, education, jobs and equal treatment have been disregarded. This is regrettable. 

The Commission cites Mombasa, where 11 minority communities, which lack identification documents, wallow in want. It means they cannot access jobs, among other social amenities.

Social security is the first victim when communities are either marginalised.

Communities cited as most affected are the Asian Baluchi, Orma, Digo, Nubi, Makonde, Indians, Badala, Wajomvu, Rabai and Duruma.

In Lamu, the Boni, Somali, Pokomo, Giriama, Watta, Orma and Sanye suffer a similar fate, which translates into absence of political representation and limited economic empowerment.

This cannot be allowed to go on as it disenfranchises communities for no mistake of their own.

One way out of this morass of misfortunes is to nominate people from these communities to decision-making positions in local authorities so that their voices can be heard and their situation addressed and redressed.

There is also need to address access to infrastructure, such as roads, schools and social amenities that will, in time, make life better for them.

In the era of devolution, which seeks to redress economic inequalities and prioritise programmes and projects for the populace, it is disturbing that some communities continue to be relegated to second-class citizens status.

On the gender front, Parliament has done well, having women occupying 22 per cent of the national slots. It is better off at the Senate, where women occupy 31 per cent of the seats.

Obviously, these figures need to be translated and replicated in all spheres, especially at the counties where ethnic composition favours the local populace, at times as much as more than 90 per cent. This is unacceptable and must be looked at immediately.

In some county assemblies, it is actually possible to transact business in the local dialect. It is a big shame and a sham.

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