The role of Women Representatives in Kenya has been highly debated upon with most Kenyans not really understanding what it is that they are supposed to do and their importance.
The 2010 Kenyan Constitution created the position of women representatives in which 47 women were to be elected by registered voters in counties, in an aim to meet the two-thirds gender law that aims at increasing the representation of women in parliament.
While a majority of the people see women representatives as a waste of taxpayers money and space in the parliament, it is important to note that the position of women representatives goes beyond that of a position in parliament.
The position is supposed to represent women whom the constitution recognizes as a marginalized group.
People have dispersed the role of women representatives for long, simply by the fact that they do not understand their roles.
Women Representatives are supposed to primarily promote the interests of women and the girl child within their counties (and by large, nationwide) by coming up with legislation that favors and suits the women and girls.
In my view, I would expect to see these women representatives on the ground actively helping women and empowering them, but this has not been the case.
Shortcomings of Women Representatives
The majority of women representatives have completely failed women all over the country. It seems as if they, themselves do not understand what it is they are supposed to be doing.
The only other times that women representatives have made headlines is for scandals or news that do not have any impact on the well-being of women.
Nairobi Women Representative, Esther Passaris seems to be on the limelight of scandals. Her name has been doing rounds in the news and all over social media for all the wrong reasons.
If we were to examine her efforts in contributing to legislation that empowers women in Nairobi or even Kenya as a whole, I highly doubt we would find anything of substance.
Yet another woman representative who seems to be making headlines for all the wrong reasons is Kiambu County representative Gathoni Wamuchomba.
She is famously renown for her remarks in support of polygamy leaving a lot of people infuriated yet surprised at her bold remarks.
From the few examples, it is clear that most women representatives have fallen short of their roles.
Since the inception of the position, how have the lives of Kenyan women changed? Are they economically empowered?
How many legislations have been proposed in the national and county assemblies by these women for the good of the Kenyan woman?
These are some of the hard questions that we need to ask if we are to hold these women accountable.
List of Women Representatives in Kenya