Prior to being elected, President William Ruto made a promise to the women of Kenya and signed a charter at the Nyayo Stadium in June 2022. In the agreement, Ruto promised to allocate 50 percent of all cabinet positions in the Kenya Kwanza administration to women.
“I commit on behalf of Kenya Kwanza Alliance that we shall allocate 50 percent of all Cabinet positions to the women of Kenya,” he said, arguing that it would be the best way to bridge gender inequality in the country.
As the new Kenya Kwanza government gradually takes shape, it is evident that the president has not delivered on this commitment. First came the cabinet secretary positions. Constitutionally, CS posts cannot exceed 22; and if the president was a man of his words, then 11 women should have been nominated to these influential spots. Only seven women made it to Ruto's Cabinet; an equivalent of 31 per cent.
Whereas the appointments meet the one-thirds constitutional requirement, it reflects on the mileage women in leadership in Kenya still have to go in order to attain at least 50-50 percent representation in leadership.
The CSs include Soipan Tuya (Ministry of Environment and Forestry), Rebecca Miano (Ministry of East Africa Community) Alice Wahome (Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation) Aisha Jumwa (Ministry of Public Service and Gender Affairs), Susan Wafula (Ministry of Health), Florence Bore (Ministry of Labour) and Penina Malonza (Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage).
On November 2, President William Ruto announced the names of 51 Principal Secretaries to serve in his government. Unfortunately, only 12 women were nominated, an equivalent of 23.6 percent. The list has been submitted to the National Assembly for vetting and approval.
Reacting to the recent appointments, immediate Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Prof Margaret Kobia expressed confidence in the nominees for PS posts.
“I welcome the list of nominees for the position of Principal Secretaries as the majority of them are from public service and are competent to deliver for the government,” she said.
However, she is concerned about the widening gender gap in political leadership and appointments.
“It is disappointing that the nominations fall short of the target set-out in Article 26 (6), Article 27 (8) and Article 81 (b) of Kenya’s 2010 Constitution, which states that ‘not more than two-thirds of the members in any elective or appointive positions such shall be of the same gender,” Kobia said, adding that, “I'm looking forward to seeing more efforts by the new government in closing gender gaps for senior executive positions in government.”
Full list of the PS nominees in Kenya
Teresia Malokwe – State Department for Devolution
Esther Ngero – State Department for Performance and Delivery Management
Caroline Nyawira Murage – State Department for Correctional Services
Betsy Muthoni Njagi - State Department for Blue Economy and Fisheries
Roseline Njogu - State Department for Diaspora Affairs
Esther Thaara Muhoria - State Department for TVET
Beatrice Inyangala - State Department for Higher Education and Research
Veronica Mueni Nduva – State Department for Gender and Affirmative Action
Susan Mangeni - State Department for MSMEs Development
Sylvia Naseya Muhoro - State Department for Wildlife
Dr Josephine Mburu - State Department for Health standards and Professional Management
Aurelia Rono – State Department for Parliamentary Affairs
Julius Korir – State Department for Cabinet Affairs
Raymond Omollo – State Department for Interior & National Administration
Prof. Julis Bitok - State Department for Citizen Services
Chris Kiptoo – The National Treasury
James Muhati – State Department for Economic Planning
Patrick Mariro – Defence
Dr Korir Sing’oei – State Department for Foreign Affairs
Amos Gathecha – State Department for Public Service
Joseph Mungai Mbugua – State Department for Roads
Mohamed Dhagar – State Department for Transport
Nixon Korir – State Department for Lands and Physical Planning
Charles Hinga - State Department for Housing and Urban Development
Joel Arumoyang - State Department for Public Works
Prof. Edward Kisiangani - State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications
Eng. John Kipchumba Tanui - State Department for ICT and the Digital Economy
Eng. Peter Tum - State Department for Medical Services
Dr Belio Kipsang - State Department for Basic Education
Philip Kello Harsama - State Department for Crop Development
Harry Kimutai - State Department for Livestock development
Alfred K’Ombundo - State Department for Trade
Abubakar Hassan - State Department for Investment promotion
Juma Mukhwana - State Department for Industry
Patrick Kiburi Kilemi - State Department for Cooperatives
Ismail Madey - State Department for Youth Affairs
Jonathan Mueke - State Department for Sports and The Arts
Festus Ngeno - State Department for Environment
Ephantus Kimotho - State Department for Forestry
John Ololtuaa - State Department for Tourism
Ummy Mohammed Bashir - State Department for Culture and Heritage
Dr Paul Ronoh - State Department for Water and Sanitation
Gitonga Mugambi - State Department for Irrigation
Alex Wachira - State Department for Energy
Mohamed Liban - State Department for Petroleum
Geoffrey Kaituko - State Department for Labour and Skills Development
Joseph Mugosi - State Department for Social Protection and Senior Citizen Affairs
Abdi Dubart - State Department for East African Community Affairs
Idris Dogota - State Department for The ASALs and Regional development
Elijah Mwangi - State Department for Mining
Shadrack Mwadime - State Department for Shipping and Maritime Affairs
RAISE YOUR VOICE SO THAT THOSE WITHOUT CAN BE HEARD
Globally, women and girls continue to hold unrealized potential,
as the wheels of change in women's empowerment turn rather slowly. Yet women’s
equal participation and leadership in political and public life are