'Good girls don’t succeed; be a bad girl like me' - Female lawmaker tells Speaker

Drama unfolded in Kenya’s National Assembly recently when Millie Grace Akoth Odhiambo Mabona, a seasoned female lawmaker, delivered a provocative retort to Speaker Moses Wetang'ula's admonishment.

Millie Grace Akoth Odhiambo Mabona

Known widely as Millie Odhiambo, the outspoken legislator representing Mbita Constituency in Homa Bay County, reacted strongly to what she perceived as a belittling comment. In a video circulating on social media, Odhiambo can be seen addressing Speaker Wetang'ula directly, declaring that her success as a four-term lawmaker is due to embracing a "bad girl" persona.

“Do not be cheated like the African culture where you’re told to be decorous, dress nicely, be kind. I’m telling you, you’ll get nowhere. Be a bad girl like me and you’ll get somewhere,” Odhiambo stated emphatically.

She began her rebuttal by referencing her favourite book, "Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office" by Lois P. Frankel, as a testament to her approach. “Mr Speaker, this is in response to what you were telling me earlier in the morning when you were urging me to be a good example to the girls and the young ones who are doing their first term. Mr Speaker, if they’re good girls, they never get the corner office. Be as bad as Millie Odhiambo and you’ll be a mother of this house,” she continued.

Odhiambo’s comments have sparked widespread debate and garnered mixed reactions. While some praised her for challenging traditional gender norms and advocating for assertiveness, others criticised her for potentially encouraging negative behaviour.

A trained lawyer, Millie Odhiambo has been a member of parliament since 2008, first serving as a nominated member before being elected to represent the Mbita Constituency. Her tenure in the National Assembly has been marked by her boldness and unorthodox approach to politics, which she claims has been the key to her longevity and success in the male-dominated field.

The video of Odhiambo's speech was shared by Kenyans.co.ke on its X page, further amplifying the discussion around her controversial stance.

Odhiambo remains unapologetic about her approach, reinforcing her belief that defying conventional expectations is essential for women seeking to make significant strides in their careers and beyond.

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