One of Katiba Institute’s programme relates to promoting awareness on the constitution and public participation. Towards this end KI has been involved in a project on enhancing inclusive and accountable governance through the participation of Women and Girls in Isiolo County. On 28th and 29th November 2016, Katiba Institute held two workshops in Isiolo involving participants from various groups in Isiolo including their women Members of the County Assembly, the women aspirants , the local civil society organisations that advocate for the rights of women and the girl child and other key `opinion leaders in the county. The objects of the meeting included:
- A better understanding of the devolved system of government and the role of women and girls
- Improving the platforms for the engagement of women and girls with the county government
- Enhancing opportunities to obtain the right women leaders; and how “nominated” women members of county assemblies can make an impact.
The workshop covered various topics including:
- The history of women representation in Kenya and the development in ensuring better political inclusion of women
- The roles and objectives of women representatives
- Perspectives on the two-third gender principle in Kenya
- The successes, Challenges and Opportunities for the women representatives in Isiolo County
- Emerging issues on women inclusion.
The outcomes of the project included:
- A change in the attitude of voters from mere representation to electing people with a plan to elevate the status of women and girls.
- A decrease in the voting bias on women including on the basis of culture.
- A more united community ready to form a government for their common good and not for particular groups.
- An election campaign by candidates seeking ward seats and those seeking to be on the party lists that is based on a clear understanding of the mandate of the seats they are seeking.
- Election of accountable women representatives who are supportive of the agenda of women and girls.
Following the above mentioned workshops, Katiba Institute held a joint workshop on 10th February 2017 that brought together all the groups – county women Members of the County Assembly, local women aspirants, local organisations that advocate for the rights of women and girls, and key opinion leaders.. The main aim of this joint workshop was to discuss the issues that were raised by the various groups and to come up with possible solutions to address them.
The workshop discussed:
- Solutions to concerns raised by the women MCAs
- Solutions to concerns raised by political aspirants and CSO representatives
- The structure and the content of the pamphlet on Women Representatives in Kenya
In addition to the workshops, Katiba Institute also developed a short pamphlet on the role of the women representatives in Kenya. The pamphlet which took into consideration issues raised by the participants in the abovementioned workshops sought to address four key concerns namely ‘why there are not more of them’; ‘ what their role is’ and ‘how to get more of them.’
The pamphlet served as a key resource material in the joint workshop and a tool for dissemination to members of the public, local organizations as well as the County Assembly and the Kenya National Library Isiolo branch. The pamphlet is available at our offices or you can read it here
The project was made possible by the support from The Canada Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development (DFATD) through the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI)