The primary focus of the CMD-kenya gender program has been working with political parties in order to increase the level of women’s participation in politics through election, nomination and acquisition of leadership positions in political parties and in the public sphere. CMD-Kenya has also worked with women candidates and women leaders towards this end. After the promulgation of the new Constitution in 2010, CMD-Kenya, with the funding from Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), UN Women and the Heinrich Boell Foundation (HBF) worked with women in political parties to bring to the fore, on time information on the gender dimensions of the implementation of the Constitution. We also documented real life stories from women aspirants, their struggles, challenges and fears as they seek elective and affirmative action positions as provided for in the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
Presently, CMD-Kenya with the funding from the Dutch Foreign Ministry through Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy (NIMD) is implementing a Women Political Rights Program (WPR) whose goal is to advocate for enhanced participation of women in the political processes and the actualization of the constitutional provisions on affirmative action. The program is anchored on the fact that despite the far reaching constitutional, policy and legal gains that have expanded space for increasing women’s representation in public and political spheres in Kenya, women’s representation in political leadership remain low. CMD-Kenya understands that the exclusion of women in leadership and decision-making limits the potential for embedding the principles of democracy in our society, hindering socio-economic development and discouraging the attainment of gender equality.
The program will continuously advocate for the inclusion of women in political leadership through political parties. It will also back the formulation of gender sensitive policies so that women can be integrated in all spheres of leadership and in shaping the future of their country. Finally, the gender program will document women stories and positively profile women as reliable and capable leaders who can match their male counterparts as well as seek to mobilize male champions for gender equality to shove the debate ahead.