Key Gains and Challenges: A Gender Audit of Kenya's 2013 Election Process

Case Study

January 13, 2014

Key Gains and Challenges: A Gender Audit of Kenya's 2013 Election Process

“Every country deserves to have the best possible leader and that means that women have to be given a chance to compete. If they’re never allowed to compete in the electoral process, then the countries are really robbing  themselves of a great deal of talent.” -Madeleine K. Albright, NDI Chairman (former US Secretary of State)

FiDA Kenya set out to audit the electoral process and document the gains and setbacks that were observed with regard to the participation and representation of women in the 2013 elections. gains refer to the various  progressive and gender-responsive provisions contained in the Constitution of Kenya and other election-related laws, which were a result of the significant reform that Kenya underwent following the last g eneral Election  of terms of setbacks, FiDA analyses the violations or failures to implement gains, structural gaps, and shortcomings that served to impede women’s effective participation in politics and electoral processes in 2013.

In Kenya, discriminatory and exclusionary practices have served to sideline women in politics and have ensured their consistent underrepresentation. the 2013 elections heralded a turning point for this narrative, largely due to a new constitutional, legal, and institutional framework.

In this publication, FiDA Kenya analyses the gender responsiveness of the electoral environment through two key units of measurement: 1) the legal framework; and, 2) institutional interventions. in evaluating the legal framework, FiDA found that the letter of the law by way of the Constitution, national legislation, and international treaties provided the most favorable and inclusive  electioneering environment in Kenya’s history. While some lacunae were found in the laws, the biggest obstacle observed was the incomplete implementation—and in some instances, complete violation—of the law...

FiDA found no justifiable reason for the consistent and systemic exclusion of women in politics, electoral processes, and, consequently, representation. It simply must stop! Toward this end, FiDA offers several recommendations targeted at the legal framework, the institutional role of the duty bearers, and other relevant stakeholders. The recommendations are premised on the need to secure women’s gains, lift past barriers, and enhance women’s inclusivity and equal participation in electoral and political processes."


Resource type: 
Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Kenya
National Democratic Institute
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