SECTIONS

Elected female leaders hope for Kenyan women- Maendeleo ya Wanawake

Maendeleo ya Wanawake Vice Chair Purity Ngujiri (left) and chairperson Rahab Muia (centre) during a press conference in Nairobi. [Esther Jeruto, Standard]

Women leaders elected in the just-concluded 2022 polls are a representation of the hopes of Kenyan women, Maendeleo ya Wanawake now says.

From three female governors in 2017 to seven in 2022, women continue to shatter the glass ceiling, although there’s room for more.  

“We now have seven women governors, 26 female MPs, 47 Woman Representatives, and the MCAs. It is a significant step towards Kenyan women's participation in the two houses,” Rahab Muia, Maendeleo ya Wanawake chairperson said.

The lobby group however says more needs to be done towards achieving the two-thirds gender rule and improving the status of women and girls across the country.

“When the country settles down, we will engage the women who have been elected so that we forge a way forward for the many members we represent in this country,” said Muia

The chairperson averred that girls and women living in arid and semi-arid counties still grapple with poverty, hunger, and low levels of education.

But with the number of women representation, they hope to raise their voices and develop the areas that are lacking.

“Maendeleo put a voice and if our voice helped us to get to where we are then we thank God because we have the numbers to do what we think we need to do for this country and that is developing this country,” she said.

Former Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Wednesday also praised Kenya for the strong women representation in the 13th parliament.

“It was inspiring to see women strongly represented in the Kenya elections and notably the progress made since 2013 when 980 women candidates were cleared to run. In 2017, this rose to 1,358. In 2022, it reached 1,768. I hope this is a sign that we are moving towards gender parity,” she tweeted.