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Kenya: Sophia Abdi Noor wins Ijara parliamentary seat

Voters in the North Eastern part of Kenya have elected Sophia Abdi Noor of PDR as the first woman Member of Parliament for the area.

Mrs Noor won the Ijara constituency seat after edging out her closest rival incumbent Ahmed Ibrahim Abass with nearly 300 votes.

She polled 6, 001 while Mr Abass got 5705 votes.

Many communities in North Eastern hold conservative views based on their religion and culture on women leadership, no woman has ever been held an elective position since Kenya’s independence.

In the Ijara MP race other contestants were Abdi Aden Korio (Wiper) got 5141 votes, Muktar Bulale (Labour) who garnered 488, and Abdikadir Ibrahim (Kanu) who polled 109 votes.

Mrs Noor is a founder member of ‘Womankind Kenya’ a group that advocates for girls education and women issues. She was first nominated to parliament by the Orange Democratic Movement in 2007.

Through her work, the former teacher has dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of women in the northern region of Kenya; she has been forefront in fighting retrogressive cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilations.

She first tried politics by contesting in Ijara parliamentary seat in 1997 where she lost to Mohamed Dahir Weyrah.

She tried again in 2013 on a URP ticket but again lost to her arch political rival Mr Abass. In the run up to 2017 elections she ditched URP for PDR.

Source: The Nation | Abdimalik Hajir

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