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Affirmative action in practice in Kenya

In 2003, NIMD set up the Centre for Multiparty Democracy in Kenya (CMD Kenya) to implement its programme. CMD Kenya is a political party dialogue platform. Its activities range from advocacy to facilitating dialogue and offering direct support to the political parties who are a member.

One of the key themes within the platform is the role of women in Kenyan politics. The CMD platform has initiated several proposals to reduce formal barriers for women. The most notable process was the development of the new Constitution in 2010, where the NIMD programme lobbied for the inclusion of an affirmative action provision for women.

The lobby was successful: Kenya’s new Constitution includes a strong Bill of Rights, ensures the participation of ethnic minorities, and stipulates that not more than two-thirds of the members of elective or appointive bodies can be of the same gender.

The new Constitution was a major victory for the women of Kenya, especially for those aspiring to take up a political role.

Related publications:
Gender brochure

political party financing kenya

The Power of Interparty Dialogue

Programme Passport

Wouter Dol
Programme Manager Kenya and Mali
+31 70 311 4997
  • Start programme
  • Implementing partner
    Centre for Multiparty Democracy Kenya (CMD-Kenya)
  • Funding partner
    Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Budget 2015
    € 532.500

Kenya Key Facts

  • Capital
  • Type of government
  • Language
    English and Kiswahili
  • Independence
    12 December 1963 (from the UK)
  • Latest constitution
    6 May 2010, passed by referendum 4 August 2010, promulgated 27 August 2010