How 2010 Constitution Opened Doors For Women to Rise in Politics

Rise of women in power
A collage of Isiolo Senator-elect Datuma Dullo, Samburu Samburu West MP-elect Naisula Lesuuda and Gilgil MP-elect Martha Wangari.

With over a decade since the 2010 constitution was promulgated, the fruits of the historic plebiscite have manifested in different ways. 

Implementation of affirmative action policies has stood out as one of the most important provisions of the Constitution.    

Through these policies, the dream of women having equal opportunities in representation and politics is being actualized, thanks to the nomination slots offered in the bicameral Parliament

Samburu west MP-elect Naisula Lesuuda greeting childrens on August 8, 2022
Samburu west MP-elect Naisula Lesuuda greeting children on August 8, 2022
Naisula Lesuuda

A number of women have used the nomination slots to climb up the leadership ladder through elective politics. has reviewed some of the notable women who have risen through affirmative measures instituted by the 2010 constitution.

Naisula Lesuuda

The Samburu West Member of Parliament-elect is among the beneficiaries of affirmative action. Lesuuda’s political career was kick-started after her nomination to the Senate in 2013. She was among the women nominated by The National Alliance (TNA) party in the 11th Parliament. 

She then ventured into elective politics in 2017 and won the Samburu West parliamentary seat. 

Notably, Lesuuda beat her male competitors to become the first elected woman MP in Samburu West constituency. The former journalist broke the male-dominance jinx and eventually became a prominent MP in the area despite her young age. 

In the concluded August 9 elections, Lesuuda defended her parliamentary seat after garnering 15,855 votes, while her closest competitor got 7,004 votes. 

Fatuma Dullo

Isiolo Senator-elect, Fatuma Dullo, also stands out in the list of women who have ridden on nomination slots to occupy high-ranking seats. 

Fatuma Dullo overcame cultural barriers to become the first woman to be elected as a Senator in Isiolo county in 2017. 

Dullo was a beneficiary of affirmative action which saw her nominated as a Senator in 2013. 

In 2017, she successfully vied for the Isiolo Senate seat in a male-dominated race. Dullo also upset her male competitors in recent polls to defend her seat on a Jubilee Party ticket. 

Sarah Paulata Korere

Sarah Korere, the Laikipia North MP-elect, holds the record of being the first woman to be elected as MP in the constituency. 

Her first major political assignment was in 2013 when she was nominated as an MP by TNA.  She would later bank on her status to venture into elective politics in 2017. 

Korere defended her seat in the August 9 polls after beating Maina Munene with over 7,000 votes. 

Martha Wangari

Another notable name on the list is Martha Wangari, the Gilgil MP-elect. Wangari will be in the 13th Parliament after successfully defending her parliamentary seat in the just concluded elections. 

Wangari won the race with 35,363 votes, beating her closest who garnered19,764 votes. 

Her first stint in Parliament was through a nomination to the Senate by the United Democratic Front (UDF) in 2013.

Despite being miles away from realizing the two-thirds gender rule as entrenched in the 2010 Constitution, the provisions have enhanced the chances of women getting equal representation in national politics. 

The election of seven women as governors in the August 9 election has been described as a testimony that the nation is gradually embracing women in key leadership positions. 

A collage of governors-elect Kawira Mwangaza, Gladys Wanga and Fatuma Achani.jpg
A collage of governors-elect Kawira Mwangaza, Gladys Wanga and Fatuma Achani.