By Shadrack Siboe and Nancy Oseur
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission(IEBC) gazetted the names of the candidates who were cleared to contest for the general election scheduled to be held on the 9th of August 2022.
The data shared by IEBC shows that we are still far from achieving an equal gender distribution for the gubernatorial aspirants across the country. The total number of aspirants is 233 in the 2022 general election. In comparison with the data shared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission for the 2017 general elections, out of 47 posts for the gubernatorial position across the country witnessed 44 male aspirants and 3 female aspirants who were elected. The percentage representation for males was 94% whereas for females was 6%. Male deputy governors were 40 while women were 7 with a percentage representation of 85% and 15% respectively.
The elected female governors were Joyce Laboso, Anne Waiguru and Charity Ngilu from Bomet, Kirinyaga and Kitui counties respectively. This implies that despite being the first time in Kenya’s history when women were elected as governors, women representation remains to be low.
Sampling on regional basis shows that 147 female aspirants have been cleared to vie for the Members of Parliament(MP) position across the country. The data shared by IEBC shows that we are still far from achieving an equal gender distribution for the MP aspirants across the country. In the 2017 general election, 9% of the aspirants were women while 91% were men. Equal participation in politics can only be achieved by encouraging more women to take part in political positions and be viable enough to air out issues. However, there has been an increase in women participation in politics as per the gazettement of the 2022 general election. For the nominated Members of Parliament, there is an increase in number from 131 to 147.
The 12th parliament that currently stand adjourned indefinitely has been billed as one of the most gender inclusive since independence 59years ago. Currently the National assembly has 76 women MPs of whom 47 representing counties 23 consistencies while six nominated.
In the 2017 general election, the number of MPs who vied as independent candidates were 513, but there has been an increase to 538. The 2022 candidates shortlisted to vie shows a lot of them are vying as independent candidates. Our analysis shows that most of them were affiliated to certain parties but were short changed in the nominations. Most parties gave out direct tickets to their preferred candidates.