The Star (Nairobi)

Africa: More Women in Party Top Brass Needed

Photo: PSS/ Nairobi Star
A special seating at the Kenyan parliament (file photo).

The Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung'u has revealed that her office is in the process of procuring a nomination system which will ensure fair nomination of women in the parties. Ndung'u said though the membership of women in the 51 registered political parties in Kenya is at 47 per cent, the membership in the governing bodies is not pleasing.

"Parties must respect the rights of all persons to participate in political projects. All political parties have subscribed to the code of conduct," she said. Speaking in Mombasa yesterday during the consensus building forum on affirmative action, Ndung'u said there is only one woman party leader out of the 51 registered parties. The other 21 party leaders are men.

She said there are seven women as chairpersons of political parties as opposed to 39 men. Twenty-three women hold the treasurer position in the parties compared to 26 men. Only 11 women hold the secretary general positions in parties compared to 39 men. "In their operations, political parties must abide by the democratic principles of good governance which includes gender principle," said Ndung'u.

Participants in the meeting said political parties do not help much in ensuring that women are well represented. Deputy House Speaker Farah Maalim said the political leadership in Kenya has combined forces to exclude women from leadership. Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa said though Kenya is an economic super-power in the region, it is doing poorly in gender parity issues. He said Rwanda has a 50 per cent women representation in their national assembly, South Africa has 45 per cent, Uganda 35 per cent while Kenya is doing dismally at nine per cent.

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