Female Leaders Make A Comeback in Kenyan Politics

Female leaders in Kenyan politics 2022

Kenya has nurtured many international programmes supporting women through the UN, USAID, Private sector or NGOs. However, the struggle for female leadership has been an elusive desire for many. Nonetheless, the recently concluded general elections in Kenya saw a substantial increase in women’s representation. As a result, several female leaders made a comeback to Kenyan politics. Apart from the 47 women representative seats reserved for women only, they also managed to clinch other top leadership positions.

Seven women were elected to the governorship in the August 9th elections. They are the CEOs of Embu, Homabay, Kirinyaga, Kwale, Machakos, Meru, and Nakuru counties.

I’ve discussed more of these powerful and influential women in this article below. You will also find the 47 elected women representatives. But first, what led to the increase in female leaders? And what are the implications of women’s leadership to Kenyan women, girls, and the country?

Related article: 10 Great Women in African History

Why female leaders made a comeback in Kenyan politics

Here are some reasons why I believe female leaders have made a comeback in Kenyan politics:

Political will

There are more women politicians in Kenya today than at any other time in History. Women leaders have increased in Kenyan politics due to political will. But what does political will even mean? It is;

The firm intention or commitment of a government to carry through a policy, especially one that is not immediately successful or popular.

Oxford English Dictionary

Some influential politicians who came earlier took the initiative to bring more women into leadership positions. The political actors committed their energy, time, and funds to changing women’s representation in Kenya.

For example, Kenyan parliamentarians have pushed hard to implement the two-thirds gender rule. The rule states that two-thirds of all elected and appointed leaders must not be of the same gender.

For instance, four months before the August elections, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (the IEBC) warned political parties to adhere to the two-thirds gender rule.

Women empowerment organizations

There are several women empowerment organizations in Kenya. Some of the organizations are funded by the national government, and most of them are NGOs.

Here are some influential women empowerment organizations in Kenya which played an essential role in the female leader’s comeback in Kenyan politics:

  1. Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAWKENYA)
  2. Team Kenya
  3. Women Empowerment in Kenya Organization (WEIKE)
  4. The Girl Generation
  5. GROOTS Kenya

These organizations have different missions but focus primarily on empowering girls and women. These women empowerment organizations operate in various parts of the country, increasing women’s access to education, credit facilities, market opportunities, and political participation. Such knowledge increase confidence and economic participation.

As a result, Kenyan women better understand the need for further education and its position in policy and decision-making. Therefore, more and more women vied for positions than before in Kenyan politics.

Gender equality

According to USAID, Kenya was number 95 out of 156 globally in 2021 in gender equality. Although gender bias is still rampant in Kenya, the government and non-governmental institutions have put measures to curb gender inequality in politics.

For instance, the devolved government provisions in Chapter 11 of the Kenyan Constitution allowed the creation of 47 women representative positions in all the Kenyan Counties. This allowed more women to participate and have experience in politics. Thus they vied for more competitive and male-dominated positions.

The voters expect the women leaders to pass legislation protecting the country’s vulnerable women and adolescent girls. Female politicians should also tighten the noose for harmful cultural beliefs and attitudes such as gender-based violence.

Educating, Reskilling, And Upskilling Women

If you educate a man, you educate an individual; but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation

African proverb

Several education institutions have sprouted nationwide to educate, reskill, and upskill women. Despite their age, women can attend lessons to acquire an entirely new skill for a different job or learn new technologies in their existing jobs.

The women and girls without jobs are educated on various economic activities and are provided with the resources to jumpstart their careers. Educating, reskilling, and upskilling Kenyan women have been core to their comeback to Kenyan politics.

In short, female leaders have made a comeback in Kenyan politics due to strong political will and improvement in gender equality. Women empowerment organizations have also been instrumental in educating, reskilling, and upskilling Kenyan women, giving them the knowledge and confidence to vie for male-dominated positions.

Read also: Top 10 Moat Influential African Women.

Women’s leaders in the 2022-2027 Kenyan politics

In Kenya, a governor is the CEO of the second largest territorial division (County) after the country. Note that Kenya comprises 47 counties, and only three of the 47 governors were women in 2017. However, female leaders have made a comeback in Kenyan politics.

Here are the seven governors in the 2022-2027 Kenyan parliament:

Cecily MbarireEmbu
Gladys WangaHomabay
Anne WaiguruKirinyaga
Fatuma AchaniKwale
Wavinya NdetiMachakos
Kawira MwangazaMeru
Susan KihikaNakuru
Table of female Kenyan governors for 2022-2027

Kenya is one of the best African nations where democracy and women’s representation are taken seriously.

Here is a summary of the female leaders in Kenyan politics, including MCAs, MPs, and Senators:

Female leaders in KenyaRegion
Agnes Kavindu MuthamaMachakos
Amina Dika AbdullahiTana River
Beatrice AdagalaVihiga
Beatrice KemeiKericho
Betty MainaMurang’a
Caroline NgelecheiElgeyo Marakwet
Cecilia AsinyenTurkana
Christine OmbakaSiaya
Cynthia Jepkosgei MugeNandi
Dorice Toto AburiKisii
Fatuma MasitoKwale
Fatuma MohamedMigori
Gertrude MwanyanjeKilifi
Gladys SholeiUasin Gishu
Esther PassarisNairobi County
Elizabeth KarambuMeru
Elsie MuhandaKakamega
Irene KasaluKitui
Rahab MukamiNyeri
Rose MuseoMakueni
Liza Chelule ChepkorirNakuru
Linet Chepkorir (youngest)Bomet
Lydia HaikaTaita Taveta
Jerusha MomanyiNyamira
Joyce KameneMachakos
Muthoni MarubuLamu
Ruth OdingaKisumu
Jane KagiriLaikipia
Umulkheir KassimMandera
Naomi Jillo WakoMarsabit
Faith GitauNyandarua
Lillian Chebet SiyoiTrans Nzoia
Njeri MainaKirinyaga
Pauline LengurisSamburu
Rael Aleutum KasiwaiWest Pokot
Rebecca TonkeiNarok
Susan NgugiTharaka Nithi
Fatuma Abdi JehowWajir
Zamzam MohammedMombasa
Table of Kenyan female politicians for 2022-2027

What is expected of the female leaders in Kenya?

Here are some of the things Kenyan voters expect from female leaders:

  1. They should provide better mentorship to women and girls
  2. Female leaders in Kenya should close the gap in gender pay
  3. They should create policies against gender-based violence and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  4. Liaise with women empowerment organizations to educate, reskill, and upskill women and girls
  5. Pass legislation for gender equality
  6. Start foundations and offer scholarships to smart Kenyan girls from poor backgrounds


The female leader’s return to Kenyan politics is just the beginning. If the female politicians consider the recommendations above, more women leaders will make a comeback in future Kenyan politics.

And as the saying goes, “If you educate a man, you educate an individual; but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.” Our female politicians should work smart because they will be a case study and a motivation for the coming generations.


  • Otolo Collins

    Otolo is a passionate content writer for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. He is also an SEO content strategist. In his spare time, Otolo reads and travels a lot. He likes to describe himself as a digital nomad.

  • Annabel Onyando

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