Rise of women in politics to clinch Governor, Senator seats

Rise of women in politics to clinch Governor, Senator seats

Outgoing Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu (left) Outgoing Uasin Gishu Senator Margaret Kamar (centre) and Nakuru Governor-elect Susan Kihika (right)

The promulgation of the 2010 constitution in Kenya saw the introduction of County Governments, and new elective posts namely Governor, Senator, Woman Rep and Member of County Assembly.

With the first three being top seats both at the County and National Government levels, the Senatorial and Gubernatorial positions were earlier male-dominated.

In 2013, Kenya headed to the first General Election since the new constitution took effect.

The IEBC data report shows that 6 women contested for the gubernatorial position, and 12 others went for the senatorial seats.

However, none of the female contestants was elected for the governor and senator seats in the first General election conducted after the promulgation of the new constitution.

A difference was seen in the 2017 polls, where nine women contested for the Governor positions, 20 went for the senatorial top county positions, and 3 emerged winners.

The pioneer female governors were the late Joyce Laboso (Bomet), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga) and Charity Ngilu of Kitui County.

In the Senate races, 20 women threw themselves in the ring, where three emerged winners. They include; Susan Kihika (Nakuru county), Margaret Kamar (Uasin Gishu county) and Fatuma Dullo (Isiolo county).

Additionally, 12 women were elected as deputy governors in Nandi, Kwale, Makueni, Nyandarua, Narok, Kericho, Taita Taveta, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu and Isiolo counties.

The 2022 General Election has seen an increase in the number of women who have taken gubernatorial positions to seven.

They include Kirinyaga’s Anne Waiguru, Nakuru’s Susan Kihika, Embu’s Cecily Mbarire, Homa Bay’s Gladys Wanga, Kwale’s Fatuma Achani, Machakos’ Wavinya Ndeti, and Meru’s Kawira Mwangaza.

The senatorial and deputy governor positions also attracted a higher number of female leaders where Tabitha Karanja (Nakuru) and Agnes Kavindu (Machakos), Fatuma Dullo (Isiolo county) clinched the seats. 

Other than the county seats, the 2022 deputy presidential race has also witnessed more female contestants.

As the IEBC vote tallying continues all eyes are on whether Martha Karua, Ruth Mutua or Justina Wamae will become the country’s first female deputy president. 


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