Women Political Participation in Kenya

Proceedings of The 3rd Global Conference on Women’s Studies

Year: 2022



Women Political Participation in Kenya

Kenyatta, Gloria Nyambura



To tackle the historic marginalization of women in Kenya, the 2010 Constitution introduced the gender principle and the quota system to promote gender equality. Devolution formed a localized political system that unlocked leadership positions to previously underprivileged sets of people like women in all the forty-seven devolved units. Noteworthy, the elections of 2013 and 2017 had the highest quota of women in Kenyan history both at the legislature and the executive, however, most government institutions did not attain the one-third gender rule, hence breaching the Constitution. Achievement of gender parity has been difficult despite efforts by the government to promote women’s participation in politics through various policy and legal frameworks, this occasioned by the prevailing standards of societal norms, financial capability, political parties structures and gendered violence that have not essentially been changed by these reforms. Therefore, this article maps the persistent structural hindrances to women’s inclusion in politics and asserts that political goodwill of a country is a major contributor to women’s inclusion in politics as well as the full implementation of the statutory instruments.

keywords: devolution, elections, gender parity, inclusion, structural barriers.