Hon. Susan Kihika the Senator-elect of Nakuru County, was among the three elected women in the senatorial position which in the 2013 elections only had nominated women.
Hon. Kihika a political science and law graduate, is not new in the political space since in 2013, she vied for the Bahati constituency MP seat which she unfortunately lost. However, she soldiered on to contend for the Nakuru County Assembly speaker’s position where she beat a field of seven worthy contenders to emerge the first Assembly Speaker of Nakuru County.
Hon. Kihika after her victory, spoke of herself as a good example of what women can do regardless of their age. ‘’I am only five years old into politics especially Nakuru politics that are very combative and aggressive, yet I have made it.’’ Hon. Kihika noted.
The Senator-elect plans to hit the ground rolling within her first 100 days by, focusing on ensuring that devolution, and particularly resources that are devolved, are applied towards the intended purposes, especially those allocated to women and girls. This she plans to achieve through a wide and inclusive consultative process. ‘’Women and girls have remained spectators and a marginalized constituency whose special needs have largely gone unaddressed.’’ She points out.
Hon. Kihika being cognizant of the heavy responsibility that has been given to her, points out that her win is a win for every woman and girl in Nakuru. ‘’I hope that my win, elected by at least 93 percent of the votes cast will demonstrate to other women that being in elective leadership is not only attainable but it is something we should seek. Gender representation in elective position will open socio-economic doors that unfortunately remain closed for many women and girls.’’ She reiterates.
The United Nations, through Strengthening the Electoral Process Project in Kenya (SEPK), (which is a 24 Million USD Multi-Donor Basket Fund aiming at consolidating and building on gains made from Kenya’s 2010 constitutional transition process and the 2013 General Elections), provided support to 2017 Kenya’s general elections. In this project, UN Women mainly ensured that more women participated as aspirants and as voters in the just completed elections. This is a central principle of United Nations support to Kenya’s 2017 elections.
Out of UN Women efforts as documented in the analysis below, women in political spaces have done a commendable job in 2017 compared to 2013. However, the country rugs behind in terms of the two third gender rule performance and not even party nominations will save the situation.
Below is the percentage and analysis of the MPs and Senate in line with the two-thirds gender rule:
Members of Parliament:
- 23 elected women MPs.
- 47 Women
- The total number of Women MPs is therefore 70 out of 337 which comes to77%.
- Kenya therefore requires 42 more women to be nominated in Parliament to make a total of 112 women MPS, 33.23%.
- 3 elected women Senators
- 16 women Senators to be nominated as per the constitution
- The total number of women Senators will therefore be 19 out of 63, 30.16%.
- Total number in the senate is normally 67. The country therefore requires 3 more nominated women Senators to make it to 22 women in the Senate to reach two-thirds as required by law, 84%