Women Representatives in Kenya have a critical role to play in social, economic and political aspects of the country.
It was a position created under Article 97(1)(b) of the Constitution to represent women who are recognized as a marginalized group. Women representatives in Kenya are a part of the National Assembly elected from each of the 47 counties.
Membership of the National Assembly- Article 97
97. (1) The National Assembly consists of—
(a) 290, each elected by the registered voters of single member constituencies;
(b) 47 women, each elected by the registered voters of the counties, each county constituting a single member constituency;
(c) 12 members nominated by parliamentary political parties according to their proportion of members of the National Assembly in accordance with Article 90, to represent special
interests including the youth, persons with disabilities and workers; and
(d) the Speaker, who is an ex officio member
The Women Rep position is also an attempt at increasing the representation of women in Parliament by satisfying the two-thirds gender rule stated in the Constitution.
Women representatives are elected to ensure there is equality between men and women.Article 27(3) guarantees women equal treatment, including the right to equal opportunity, in the political sphere.
They should promote the interests of women and girls within their counties. This role involves coming up with laws and policies to uplift women and girls. Through Parliament, they should lobby and advocate for equal treatment and opportunities for women and girls.
They should sponsor and engage in bills, motions, resolutions, and/or notices that aim to redress any disadvantage suffered by women and girls because of past discrimination.
The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 considerably expands the role and space of women in leadership and governance. It accords women expansive opportunities to contribute effectively in decision making both nationally and at the devolved governance structures.
Functions of Women Representatives in Kenya
Women representatives perform the functions of any member of the National Assembly stated in Article 95
Role of the National Assembly-Article 95
- The National Assembly represents the people of the constituencies and special interests in the National Assembly.
- The National Assembly deliberates on and resolves issues of concern to the people.
- The National Assembly enacts legislation in accordance with
Part 4 of this Chapter.
- The National Assembly—
(a) determines the allocation of national revenue between the levels of government, as provided in Part 4 of Chapter Twelve;
(b) appropriates funds for expenditure by the national government and other national State organs; and (c) exercises oversight over national revenue and its expenditure.
- The National Assembly—
(a) reviews the conduct in office of the President, the Deputy
President and other State officers and initiates the process of
removing them from office; and (b) exercises oversight of State organs.
- The National Assembly approves declarations of war and
extensions of states of emergency.
However, their specific functions are to:
- Foster equality between men and women
- Fight for women’s rights and promote their interests
- Legislate laws that favour women and the girl child (e.g access to free sanitary pads.)
- Promote development in counties by addressing challenges that face women e.g gender based violence, income generation and FGM
List of Women Representatives in Kenya (2017-2022)
|Esther Passaris||Nairobi County|
|Joyce Korir Chepkoech||Bomet|
|Jane Chebaiai||Elgeyo Marakwet|
|Zuliekha Ju Ma Hassan||Kwale|
|Rozaah Akinyi Buyu||Kisumu|
|Gladys Wanga||Homa Bay|
|Gladys Sholei||Uasin Gishu|
|Lilian Tomitom||West Pokot|
|Rehema Hassan||Tana River|
|Beatrice Nyaga||Tharaka Nithi|
|Lydia Mizighi||Taita Taveta|
|Janet Wanyama||Trans Nzoia|