Gender and Governance Programme

GGP III Phase III (Promoting Women’s Participation in Politics)
Donor: UNWomen/Basket fund
Target Areas: Makueni, Machakos, Kitui, Samburu & Laikipia
Duration: November 2012 – November 2013


AMWIK recently completed implementing the Gender and Governance Project in Makueni, Machakos, Kitui, Samburu and Laikipia Counties. The project involved supporting women’s participation in politics and governance through combining media strategies that aim at enhancing the visibility of women leaders in the society.

Activities included

  • Training of women aspirants on electoral processes and procedures, effective campaigning techniques and effective use of the media. AMWIK was able to train a total of 21 women aspirants from Machakos, Kitui & Makueni Counties. AMWIK is happy to report 3 of the workshop participants were elected in the March 4 General election while 2 other participants were nominated to County Assemblies.
  • AMWIK in collaboration with the Collaborative Centre for Gender and Development (CCGD) organized peace forums for women aspirants in Samburu and Laikipia counties. The aspirants were Rebeccah Samaria Lolosoli, vying for Member of County Assembly for Waso Ward in Samburu East Constituency on Alliance Party of Kenya (APK), Susan Muthoni Leaduma vying for Loosuk Ward in Samburu West Constituency on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party ticket and Mrs Jacinta Alimlim Lochuch, vying for Nachola Ward in Samburu North Constituency on The National Alliance (TNA) party ticket.

Machakos breakout

AMWIK supported the aspirants through publicizing their profiles and mobilizing journalists and members of the public to attend the forums. The forums contributed to the overall good turnout in the March 4, elections and the prevailing peace in Kenya during the election period. Although the women candidates did not win elective seats in Samburu County, the prevailing peace during the elections enabled them to register good results in the elections.

Rebeccah Lolosoli emerged third out seven candidates vying for the Waso Ward (Samburu East Constituency), including her estranged husband who won by 863 votes and his closest challenger got 731 votes while Rebeccah got 673 votes. Susan Leaduma emerged fourth among six candidates vying for Loosuk Ward seat (Samburu West Constituency), with a total of 302 votes, with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd candidates getting 1,279, 783 and 498 votes respectively. Jacinta Alimlim emerged third out of the four candidates vying for Nachola Ward (Samburu North Constituency), with a total of 89 votes, with the first and second getting 1,188 and 407 votes.

  • AMWIK produced a one-minute radio spot that was advocating for the election of women candidates and peaceful elections on March 4, 2013. The programmes were aired repeatedly on Radio in Kiswahili and vernacular languages. The messages urged voters to support women aspirants for positions of senate, Governors, National Assembly and County Ward representative seats among others.

The impact was reflected in the high attendance of the forums and the promising number of votes that the women candidates got.  The impact was further reflected in peaceful electoral process countrywide on March 4, 2013. Although the number of women elected was small, some lost with small margins. The messages also contributed in changing public perceptions about women leadership as they advocated for the respect of constitutional provisions on equity and fairness in all spheres of life including in elective and appointive leadership positions.

  • Following the success of the ‘Journey to Leadership: Women Legislators in Kenya’s Tenth Parliament, a book that profiled the 22 women legislators who served between 2007 – 2012, under GGP II, AMWIK undertook a similar project to publish another landmark book, the Kenya Women Parliamentarians: Women Members of the 11th Parliament 2013-2017 which documents the contributions of women leaders in Kenya.

The book documents the women’s successes and challenges in their journey to leadership. In addition the stories of the women MPs provide lessons, not only for aspiring women leaders but also to guide advocacy efforts and policy direction towards improving the situation of women in Kenya. This comes in the face of limited or lack of documentation on women’s contribution in politics and development in Kenya. The book further offers opportunity for women legislators to gain visibility nationally and their contributions to politics in Kenya and the development of the country to be documented for posterity

 

Successes

  • A total of 12 women were elected Members of County Assembly in the four of the five counties targeted, i.e., Laikipia (1), Machakos (3), Makueni (1) and Kitui (7).
  • A total of 52 women were nominated on the gender-top-up lists in the five counties – i.e., Laikipia (4), Samburu (7), Makueni (13), Kitui (13) and Machakos (15).
  • A total of eleven women were nominated under marginalized/special interest groups in the five counties – i.e. Laikipia (3), Samburu (2), Machakos (2), Kitui (2) and Makueni (2).
  • Generally there are a total of 75 both elected and nominated female members of the county assembly in the five counties.
  • Overall, Ukambani region (Makueni, Kitui and Machakos counties) ranked among the best regions in Kenya that elected women into non-affirmative action seats. Three out of the 16 (18.8 percent) women elected to the national assembly were from this region while 11 women were elected to county assemblies – 7 in Kitui County, 3 in Machakos County and 1 in Makueni County.

GGP Phase III was a follow up of the GPP Phase II project that AMWIK implemented between June 2011 and May 2012.  The project targeted the wider Nyando and Tharaka Nithi districts and AMWIK worked with 10 community groups namely Kwe Women Group, Better Living Women Group, Sigoti Namteta Youth Group, Nyakach Women League and Chap Chap Women Group (of Nyando) and Mwangaza Self Help Group, Kamwara Women Group, Amkeni Gikingo Ladies Reformers Group, Matakiri Folk Media Group and Wendi-Ini Women Group (of Tharaka).

In this phase AMWIK trained a total of 70 women aspirants in Eastern and Coast provinces on effective media use to raise their profiles during their campaigns, and further trained 60 journalists on gender sensitive reporting.

Machakos AspirantsMachakos female aspirants pose with former AMWIK ED Jane Thuo (centre)