- "Merely having the Party Women League is insufficient. We need women in substantial party positions," Dagoretti MP Beatrice Elachi said.
- KEWOPA chairperson Leah Sankaire (Kajiado) said they need to see more women in key positions to end party politics that undermine women.
Female lawmakers have voiced their concerns about glaring absence of women in key leadership positions within political parties.
The matter was raised during a breakfast meeting convened by the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs and attended by members of the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOPA).
KEWOPA chairperson Leah Sankaire (Kajiado) and vice chairperson Beatrice Elachi (Dagoretti North), expressed gratitude for the strides made by parties to involve women.
They, however, emphasised the need for greater representation of women in decision-making roles within political outfits.
"There is still a gap in the top leadership of our political parties across the board. We need to see more women in those positions. This will be the only way to end party politics that undermine women politicians and aspirants," Sankaire said.
Elachi echoed the sentiments and pointed out that nearly all political parties in the country are predominantly led by men.
"Merely having the Party Women League is insufficient. We need women in substantial party positions, such as chairpersons or secretary generals, to effectively champion the interests of the gender group," explained Elachi.
Florence Jematiah (Baringo) echoed the frustration of many women leaders, lamenting that despite their significant contributions to the formation of political parties and being their biggest supporters, women often find themselves disadvantaged during party primaries.
There was a 16 per cent increase in women-held elective seats following the 2022 General Election.
But for many women aspirants, old practices and norms continued to undermine their campaigns.
Before women aspirants even reach office, many are exposed to unequal treatment by voters and competing candidates.
Last month, Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu said she believes women do not prepare adequately during election campaign season to run for political offices.
Nderitu said this is among the factors that hinder the actualisation of the two-thirds gender parity rule.
Though the law protects women's interests in leadership positions and a lot of gains have been made towards achieving gender parity, Nderitu believes women still have a lot to do.
Nderitu said women have the potential of getting more leadership positions if only they took the election campaigns more seriously and are well aware of the electoral process like men.