KENYA: Central Kenya elects highest number of women to Parliament

Sunday, March 17, 2013
Standard Digital News
Eastern Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 

Some 16 women have been elected as Members of the National Assembly in this year's General Election. And the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) commended Central voters for electing more women to Parliament.

NGEC's national chairperson Winfred Lichuma said women faced difficult circumstances to claw their way to victory.

“Women were disadvantaged in the elections because of cultural barriers and financial constraints to mount campaigns.

There was also propaganda used by some male aspirants that women should not be given positions because they had the women representative seat,” she said.

Ms Lichuma, however, praised those who won and wished them well in their five-year tenure. She said despite the challenges in the campaigns, 16 women were elected to Parliament.

Of the 47 counties, no women were elected as governor or senator, prompting NGEC to lobby for the County Executive Committee (CEC) positions to be awarded to more women. Lichuma said majority of the appointive positions of members of the CEC should be given to women.

Gender balance

“We are meeting with those who are going to form the county governments to push for gender balance in the composition of the CEC. In Kisii, 14 women will have to be nominated to County Assembly to meet the one-third-gender rule. Ms Catherine Kasyoka Manzi made it to the assembly to represent Machoge-Basi Ward under the Kenya Social Congress party ticket going against the CORD wave in the region.

This means the taxpayers will have to dig deeper into their pockets to foot the wage bill for the bloated county assembly for ignoring advise by the Charles Nyachae led Constitution Implementation Commission and Commission for Revenue Allocation that more women be elected to meet the constitutional threshold.

Speaking at St Vincent's Pastoral Centre in Kisii town during a meeting of county officers including Governor-elect James Ongwae, Mr Nyachae said the 14-nomination slots should be reserved for women. Senator-elect Chris Obure, Women Representative Mary Keraa-Otara and 45 county representatives attended.