Women Contributions in Parliament

The underrepresentation of Kenyan women in matters of politics and governance necessitated the formulation of the two thirds gender principle to ensure that women have a say. Despite the introduction of the two thirds gender rule, Women Parliamentarians continue to be subjected to stereotypes, sexism and accusations of incompetence.

Mzalendo’s analysed their contributions to the Hansard for the March 2013 – June 2015 period to assess the value they bring to their constituencies, counties and the country as a whole.

86 women parliamentarians
  • 47 women representatives
  • 16 elected MNAs
  • 5 nominated MNAs
  • 18 nominated Senators
  • 1 Deputy Speaker
  • 8 committee chairwomen
  • 9 committee vice-chairs
Plus a Senate Majority Chief Whip and Minority Deputy Chief Whip

Kenya’s leading women

Key findings

  • Women representation in Parliament - National Assembly and Senate - stands at 21%.
  • Contrary to popular opinion County Women Representatives do not only represent women’s agenda but represent all the challenges faced in their counties including problems that affect the men.
  • Women Parliamentarians – whether elected, nominated or selected under affirmative action provide just as much value as the male Parliamentarians.
  • Women Parliamentarians contributions are greatly influenced by their level of education, professional background, work and life experience.
  • Women Parliamentarians have the ability to support each other for influence and use theirs numbers for leverage on important issues.

For more details see the infographic and report.

Roles of Parliamentarians

Parliamentarians roles are not demarcated based on gender.

The Members of the National Assembly including the Women Representatives:

  1. Represent their constituents and special interest groups issues and opinions.
  2. Enact legislation in accordance with the Constitution.
  3. Exercise budgetary oversight between the levels of government especially over the National level of Government.
  4. Review the conduct of the President and his Deputy plus other State officers, initiate the process of removing them from office and exercise oversight of State organs.
  5. Approve declarations of war and extensions of states of emergency.

Senators:

  1. Represent and protect the interests of the counties and their governments.
  2. Consider, debate and approve Bills concerning counties.
  3. Determine the allocation of national revenue among counties, and exercise oversight over national revenue allocated to the county governments.
  4. Exercise oversight over State officers especially any resolution to remove the President or Deputy President from office.

Which issues have Women Parliamentarians contributed to in the National Assembly and Senate?

Women Parliamentarians contributions span a wide variety of interests and topics, disproving the notion that most women parliamentarians only cover issues related to women.

Supported by

Heinrich Böll Foundation