Out of the eleven elections that have been held in Kenya since independence, the 2013 election will remain significant in Kenya’s electoral history. The Constitution of Kenya 2010 set the legal framework for promoting gender equality, which has seen a record eighty six woman elected and nominated to the eleventh Parliament. This number surpasses the total number of women representatives in the fifty years of independence combined.
In the last ten parliaments, Kenya has had a total of seventy five women, fifty of them elected while the other 25 were nominated. With an increase from 9.8% to 19% representation, Kenya is now ranked 76th of the top 100 countries in the World Classification of Women in National Parliaments. The marked Progress, a result of years of hard work by different stakeholders in the women’s movement, deserves celebration.
As we applaud this noble achievement, it is important to note that the struggle for gender equality is still far from over. The number of women in Parliament remains inconsequential in comparison to 81% of men at the National Assembly and 73% at Senate. The 19% representation of women therefore remains below the Constitutional bare minimum of 33% provided by the Constitution of Kenya 2010. The enforcement of the legal provisions and gains that were hard-won by the women’s movement remains an uphill task that all players must address in order to realize fairness in political representation. The sweeping changes in political opportunities for women over the past 50 years are mirrored through the individual stories of the eighty six women parliamentarians.
With the support of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Nairobi Office, the Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK) profiled the 86 Women Leaders in the 11th Parliament in a publication set to be launch today, 31st March 2015 in Nairobi.
The Publication, 86 and Counting: Women Leaders in the 11th Parliament, documents the stories, challenges and opportunities of women in leadership.
Download a full copy of this amazing compilation.