NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – New laws designed to increase the number of elected women in Kenyan politics had no effect on the 2013 elections because those responsible failed to implement them, the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) said.
Kenyan women have the lowest level of parliamentary representation in the region at 19 percent, compared with at least 30 percent in all its east African neighbours.
Here are some key facts and figures:
- Between 1963 and 2012, Kenyan voters elected 50 women and 1806 men to parliament.
- At independence in 1963, there were no women in parliament. The first woman to be elected was Grace Onyango in 1969.
- In 1995, Nyiva Mwendwa became the first female cabinet minister.
- In 2013, women were given one-third of cabinet seats for the first time, with six positions. This was in response to an article in the 2010 constitution, which states that no more than two-thirds of members of any public body should be of the same gender.
- In 2013, 16 women and 274 men were elected to the national assembly. In addition, 47 women were elected to serve as county women’s representatives, a new position created by the 2010 constitution. Women were also nominated to 5 out of the 12 nominated seats for special interest groups.
- Overall, there are now a record-breaking 68 women in the national assembly, equalling 19 percent of membership.
- In the senate, part of the bicameral parliament, women did not win any of the 47 elected seats. However, 16 women were nominated from party lists in proportion to the number of seats won by each party. Two were also nominated to represent the youth and people with disabilities.
- Overall, there are 18 women in the senate, representing 27 percent of membership.
- In the 47 county assemblies, the second tier of devolved government, women won 82 out of 1450 elected seats, or five percent, for ward representatives. An additional 680 were nominated in order to meet the two-thirds rule.
- There are 762 women in county assemblies, equalling 34 percent of membership.