Economy

Kenya awarded for promoting women's participation in politics

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Women of the Flag of Kenya sensitise the public about voter registration in Mombasa. President Kenyatta's Cabinet of 18 has six women who hold key ministries. In Parliament, 25 per cent of representatives are women, up from 9.9 per cent in 2007. PHOTO | FILE

Summary

  • President Kenyatta's Cabinet of 18 has six women who hold key ministries.
  • In Parliament, 25 per cent of representatives are women, up from 9.9 per cent in 2007.

Kenya has won an international award for promoting the political advancement of women.

The award by the Women in Parliaments Global Forum was expected to be handed over to President Uhuru Kenyatta at an international summit that opens in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, later in March 2015.

News of the award was broken Monday morning to Kenyan delegates attending the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN Headquarters in New York by Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru.

"We are very happy because Kenya is getting placed very well on the world map,'' Ms Waiguru said.

The CS is the head of Kenya's delegation to the 10-day conference. She was speaking to a delegation that included women MPs, senators and members of the civil society at a review meeting at the Kenya Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

She announced that President Kenyatta, who had been invited to receive the award at the summit, would not be able to attend. Instead, the meeting settled on MPs Alice Wahome (Kandara), Florence Mutua (Busia County) and Senator Naisula Lesuda to receive the award on behalf of Kenya.

Women in Parliament's project manager Sara Andergiorgis said in addition to receiving "the prestigious award'' Kenya would be given an opportunity to address what she described as high-level governmental representatives from more than 70 countries around the world to highlight the country's efforts in "decreasing the gender gap in the political sphere'.'

Advancements

In welcoming the recognition, Ms Waiguru said one of the major reasons that Kenya was making strides in advancement of women was the realisation by the Jubilee administration that gender disparities affect and manifest themselves in development and "it is the first step towards promoting empowerment".

President Kenyatta's Cabinet of 18 has six women who hold key ministries. In Parliament, 25 per cent of representatives are women, up from 9.9 per cent in 2007.

The 2010 Constitution created affirmative action seats for the 47 county woman representatives and 18 nominated women in the Senate, with two representing special interests.

The 2014 Women in Parliaments Award for Lifetime Achievements in Female Political Empowerment went to Vigdis Finnbogadottir, the first woman in the world to be elected President.

Elected in 1980, she was the fourth president of Iceland and stepped down in 1996 after four terms in office but is still active in public life.