Susie Kitchens hosts women in Kenyan politics discussion

Susie Kitchen Women in Politics in Kenya
Susie Kitchens kicks off the discussion on strengthening the leadership and influence of women in Kenyan politics. Photo: Twitter/KevinOsidoEsq

Yesterday morning, the Deputy UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Susie Kitchens, hosted a discussion focusing on the leadership and influence of women in politics.

The focus of the debate asked “what can be done to better support women’s political influence in Kenya?”

During the event, a report presenting the findings and policy considerations of the study on Strengthening the Leadership and Influence of Women in Politics and Public Service in Kenya, funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through the East Africa Research Fund (EARF) was discussed.

The research, undertaken by a team of seven Kenyan and US researchers, led by Dr Yolande Bouka, aimed to:

  1. Map the level of women’s representation in decision-making roles in the Government of Kenya (GoK);
  2. Identify the factors that impact the level of women’s representation in decision making roles in the GoK;
  3. Evaluate the impact of the two-thirds gender rule and women’s representation in politics on human and economic development outcomes.

The research challenges previous attempts to identify universal obstacles that affect all women in Kenya. Instead, the study shows that the barriers to entry and influence differ greatly depending on the position being held or sought, and the branch of government. It concludes with a series of policy considerations and fields of action for the Government of Kenya and other stakeholders committed to realizing the full implementation of the Gender Principle.

Tweeting during the event, the UK High Commission posted: “The UK recognises the critical role women play in transforming our societies to become more inclusive and sustainable.

“We can’t have effective governance systems if half the population is unable to compete,” they added.