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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume VI, Issue VI, June 2022 | ISSN 2454–6186

Sociocultural Factors Influencing Women’s participation in political Leadership in Kakamega County, Kenya.

Mukhwana Laura Nasimiyu1, Esmeralda Mariano2
1Department of Sociology, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique
2Department Of Archaeology and Anthropology, School of Arts and Social sciences. Universidade Eduardo Mondlane –Mozambique

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: Kenya still falls short of the (2/3rd) gender parity rule in National and County political leadership. Articles 27(8) and (81) (b) of the Kenyan Constitution sought to increase women’s representation by requiring a minimum of one-third representation of either gender in all elected and public posts. The Kenyan Constitution (2010) sought to correct past historical gender discrimination and injustices. However, Kenya’s male-dominated political arena has been hesitant to enact legislation to execute the gender quota law, unlike its neighboring countries. This problem has been exacerbated by sociocultural underpinnings existing in many Kenyan societies. The purpose of this study was to establish how sociocultural factors influence women’s ascend to political leadership in Kenya’s Kakamega County. The study adopted a descriptive research design. One hundred and sixty respondents were interviewed using a questionnaire. Another twelve key informants were also interviewed using an interview guide. Quantitative data obtained was analyzed using descriptive statistics and the Chi Square tests with the aid of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23. The qualitative data, mainly from key informants was analyzed thematically using content analysis. The study established that the community was still highly patriarchal, and that there were sociocultural forces which appeared to influence decisions on women’s ascending to political power. 62.4% of the respondents believed that the roles of women in the community do not include leadership; another 62.3% also stated that domestic duties of women would not allow good representation Many respondents (52.5%) still believed that political leadership was a domain for men. Respondents with higher levels of education appeared more accommodating of women political leaders. The study recommends intensive education to be given to the community, particularly to the male members of the community to value women leadership. This education should be tailored to help improve the communities’ perspectives of gender roles in modern society.

Keywords: Sociocultural, Women, Leadership, Gender, Political, representation


Women’s representation and participation in politics has been an uphill task, not only in Kenya but throughout the world. Although women make up the majority of voters, women’s electoral rights are only more evident when they vote than when they run for office. An examination of the current makeup of political decision-makers world over still demonstrates that women continue to struggle to articulate