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> With the country on edge over racial and ethnic clashes that have dogged the campaign season, these women standing at the front of that threat.
>> This is Sarah Korere, 40 years old. She's been shot at, slapped, called a traitor and a prostitute even given a curse by the elders of her tribe. All of these typical for women politicians in Kenya putting them at even greater risk ahead of a national election on Tuesday that's already been strained with violence.
Ms. Korere is trying to unseat a man from parliament.>>
Kenya has struggled to integrate women into politics even as neighboring countries in East Africa surge ahead. In Uganda and Tanzania, for example, over a third of lawmakers are women. And in Rwanda they're even a majority, two thirds, the highest ratio in the world. Kenya, only a fifth, the same proportion as Saudi Arabia.
Domestic violence in Kenya was only outlawed two years ago, a law Korere helped pass. She and other women Reuters spoke with said it's not unusual for male rivals to attack them physically. One even saw her own bodyguard killed.>> It have been four years of very rough and very tough times for me.
>> Kenya has tried to remedy the situation in recent years by reserving some seats in parliament for women specifically. Yet the forced representation also have drawbacks in terms of funding. Fully elected lawmakers are usually allowed $600,000 for projects in their home districts, but women in those reserved seats see only a fraction of that, about 12%, and lawmakers who are nominated to their position get no money at all.