Kenya: Kenyan Women Still Lag Behind In Political Arena, New Study Shows

Women make up less than half of Kenya’s electorate [AFP]

Despite gains made toward gender equality in the country, women still lag behind in political engagement with few men ready to support women in their quest for political leadership, a study has revealed.

The Afrobarometer survey revealed that three-fourths, 73 per cent, of Kenyans were of the view that women should have the same chance as men of being elected to political office but this figure reduced when only men were involved.

Only 66 per cent of men held the view that women should be given equal chance against 81 per cent among women.

Currently, Kenya’s women representation in Parliament – National Assembly and Senate – stands at 21 per cent with 86 women parliamentarians of which 16 were elected as Members of Parliament (MPs), 5 nominated as MPs, 18 nominated senators and 47 women representatives selected under the affirmative action.

The survey released on Wednesday during the International Women’s Day also revealed that fear of political violence and intimidation might be the factors that accounted for the few number of women engaging in politics in the country.

“More than half (54 per cent) of Kenyans say they fear political violence and intimidation. Women are significantly less likely than men to discuss politics, to contact political leaders, to join others to raise an issue, and to attend community meetings,” read part of the report.

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SOURCE: Daily Nation