The current 12th Parliament (National Assembly and Senate) consists of 416 members. Of this total, 97 members are women representing 23.3 % of the total membership.
The low representation of women in parliament is also seen in the committees. Out of the 43 departmental committees in parliament (National Assembly and Senate), only 9% (4/43) are chaired by women. The situation is worse at the senate level, where there is no single woman MP chairing a departmental committee. Also, all the technical committees in parliament are chaired by men. Membership of women in these technical committees is equally low. For example, in the National Assembly, representation of women in the Finance and National Planning committee is at 11% (2/19), Public Accounts Committee at 11% (2/19), National Security at 5% (1/19) and Budget and Appropriations at 21% (4/19). At the Senate level, some notable examples are: Finance and Budget committee at 22% (2/9), Information, Communication and Technology at 11% (1/9) and Devolution & Inter Governmental Relations at 11% (1/9).
To improve and change the leadership status of women MPs, members of parliament and parliamentary staff should be well trained on gender issues (skills on gender mainstreaming). A well spelt out policy on gender for Kenya’s Parliament is also imperative.
Below is a detailed representation: