The National Gender and Equality Commission has been monitoring closely the participation of special interest groups in the General Elections both as voters and as candidates. We are pleased at the performance projected so far in the provisional results by the IEBC. We are able to determine the following.
SN Position Number Gender
1 Governor 3 out of 47 Female
2 Senator 3 out of 47 Female
3. Constituency Mps 23 out of 290 Female
4. MCAs 96 out of 1450 Female
For the first time the country will have 3 women Governors and Senators respectively. This is a watershed moment for the leadership at the County levels and we wish to convey congratulations to the pioneer women Governors and elected Senators. We have no doubt that their contribution will infuse the much needed programmes and representation aimed at empowering both men and women and the vulnerable in the society.
These elections have recorded major milestones as far as the inclusion and participation of special interest groups in political representation is concerned. Kenyans are also debunking the attitudes around patriarchy and negative gender stereotypes. The number of elected women members of parliament is set to go up from 16 in the 11th parliament to at least 23 going by the provisional results. The number of elected female MCAs is also set to increase to over 100 up from 84 in the last General elections.
We note that the North Eastern and Samburu regions have produced for the first time a female Senator in Isiolo County and two MPs in Ijara and Samburu West Constituencies. In all regions, the women candidates were pitted against their male colleagues but prevailed with an overwhelming mandate. This is testament to the fact that women of Kenya are steadily rising and taking their rightful position in society on pure merit.
We are also encouraged that an impressive number of young people offered themselves for candidature in various elective posts and have made it. The story of Igembe South MP elect Mr. John Mwirigi is a shining beacon of hope and inspiration to young people to believe in themselves and offer their leadership skills. In Kilibwoni ward Nandi County, 24 year old Cynthia Jepkosgey Muge has cemented the fact that age and lack of financial resources should not be a hindrance to leadership. Once again, congratulations are in order.
We still have a long way to go to achieve gender parity in political representation. From the look of the provisional results, it is evident none of the 47 county assemblies will meet the constitutional threshold of not more than two thirds gender ratio composition. Instructively, political parties will have to nominate the required number of MCAs to comply with the principle.
At the National Assembly, the prospect of plunging into an unprecedented constitutional crisis now looms closer. There is no framework to ensure compliance with the not more than two thirds gender principle and the country should brace itself for dire consequences.
As we wait for the IEBC to conclude tallying and announce the final results, we wish to see a disaggregated schedule of all elected members by gender, age and disability status. We shall continue to monitor the integration and application of the principles of equality and inclusion throughout the remaining part of the electioneering process up to its logical conclusion.
WINFRED O. LICHUMA EBS