Kenya ushered in a new constitution in 2010. The promise of the new constitution included a decentralization of government through devolution, and increased participation by the people through a range of national, county and local government structures. A key provision in the new constitution was to enhance gender equality in Kenya’s governance, through setting a quota for women representation in parliament, senate, county assemblies and other public offices. Since Kenya started holding multi-party elections in 1992, a total of 112 women have been elected to political positions, while 30 have been nominated. The numbers paints a grim picture, especially in comparison to the number of men in the same time period 2,021 elected, and 94 nominated.
Even with a constitutional provision to enhance women’s representation, there is still a shortfall in meeting this provision, with the most recent (December 2015) reconstituted cabinet still failing to meet the 2/3 gender rule. Having a critical mass of women in leadership in Kenya is still far from being realized, meaning the women will still have to struggle to make their voices heard in a male-dominated leadership structure.
The project dubbed ‘Strengthening women leadership in Kenya’ purposes to have strengthened, accountable, inclusive and democratic culture in Nyeri and Meru counties. Our objective is to have at least a 20% increase in accountable and gender sensitive women in political and non political decision making spaces in both counties. The project works with women community leaders and women from marginalized areas within Meru and Nyeri counties.
The project anticipates that the inclusion of more women in these spaces and subsequent benefit of their participation will contribute towards promoting gender equality and democratic culture in the target areas.