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Kenya has made major strides towards achieving gender equality despite challenges it has continued to face over the years. As evident in the 2022 General Elections, Kenyan women made a major breakthrough after 29 women were elected to the National Assembly up from 23 women in the 2017 elections.

Seven female governors were elected, an increase from three female governors in 2017 and three female senators, the same number as in 2017.

Even though only a countable number of women won the elective seats, the election saw the highest number of women (1,962) ever vie for elective positions in Kenya.

Despite the increase of women representation in the political space, Kenya trails behind Rwanda, whose women legislators account for 61 per cent of the positions.

Since the election of the first woman to Parliament in 1969, the political landscape in Kenya has remained predominantly male and the implementation of gender parity patchy, hence the election of these women came in as a major boost to the calls for gender equity.

A 2021 report by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Government of Kenya report titled ‘Consolidating Democratic Dividends for Sustainable Transformation in Kenya’ shows obstacle to gender equality are prescribed gender roles, patriarchal attitudes, structural barriers, limited financial resources as well as non-compliance with the regulations that are gender-responsive.

By Jane Kibathi.