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559 picked as MCAs to seal gender gap

August 29, 2017 7:14 PM
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559 picked as MCAs to seal gender gap

The 47 county assemblies have had to nominate 559 female members to meet the gender principle after Kenyans elected only 96 of them in the August 8 General Election.

The female MCAs are nominated according to Article 177 of the Constitution, which stipulates that the special seats will be picked as necessary to ensure that not more than two-thirds of any assembly is from one gender.

The gender top-up ward representatives list published on Monday by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) indicates a drop from the 680 women nominated in the 2013 General Election.

At least 10 counties – Embu, Garissa, Isiolo, Kajiado, Kirinyaga, Mandera, Narok, Samburu, Wajir and West Pokot – did not elect a single woman to the local assemblies and nominated at least 10 women each to meet the legal threshold.

They are Kwale, Kilifi, Taita-Taveta, Wajir, Makueni, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Murang’a, Turkana, West-Pokot, Baringo and Laikipia. Others are Nakuru, Narok, Kericho, Bungoma, Busia and Kisii.

Kakamega with 25 members while Kisii has 20 and Meru 19. Kilifi and Garissa each got 15 members.

Tharaka-Nithi got a single slot and Isiolo has three while Nandi and Laikipia counties will each have five female nominated members.

Surprisingly, the electoral commission published the name of Grace Wangare Ndegwa as representing youth in the marginalised lists for Migori and Nyamira counties.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party emerged as the biggest winner of most of the nominated seats followed by the Orange Democratic Movement.

Jubilee however did not get any nomination positions in Mombasa, Kilifi, Makueni, Busia, Siaya, Kisumu and Homa Bay counties.

A list published last week by the electoral commission shows that out of the 1,450 wards, voters in 96 wards elected female MCAs representing a marginal increase from 84 elected in the 2013 Election.

In Nandi, five female MCAs were elected in the 30 wards of the county.

In Nairobi County, voters elected four female MCAs out of the total 85 wards in the city; two each on both the Orange Democratic Movement and the Jubilee Party tickets.

Machakos County, on the other hand, has 48 wards out of which five elected female MCAs while Kakamega’s 60 wards has four elected female MCAs.

Kisumu County with 34 wards has five female elected MCAs, while Nakuru County with 54 wards also has five elected MCAs.

The commission however admitted that Kenyans are starting to debunk attitudes around patriarchy and gender stereotypes.

NGEC chairperson Winfred Lichuma said the outcome of the elections is a milestone as far as the inclusion and participation of special interest groups in political representation are concerned.


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