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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.