A Women’s Representative (or Woman County Representative) in Kenya plays a very crucial role in the state and government. As a Member of Parliament, a Women’s Representative plays three crucial roles. They are legislation, representation, and oversight.
Yours truly did an article that deals in-depth with the role of Women Representatives in Kenya.
In summary, the position of a Woman County Representative in Kenya is because of affirmative action. It provides for more representation for women in Parliament. Each county has a Women’s Representative with all the 47 Women Representatives operating from the National Assembly.
Registered voters in each county elect their Women’s Representative for a term of five years during every general election. See the different types of elections in Kenya.
An aspirant for the position of a Woman County Representative must meet certain conditions set by IEBC. The conditions are IEBC’s regulations for elections that form the guidelines to vie for the position of a Women’s Representative.
Qualifications for the position of a Women’s Representative in Kenya
To qualify for the position of a Women’s Representative in Kenya, you must:
- be a Kenyan citizen for at least 10 years before the election;
- not hold dual citizenship (unless, according to IEBC, the citizenship of the other country has been obtained by operation of law without the capacity to opt-out);
- not owe allegiance to a foreign state;
- be a registered voter;
- be nominated by a Political Party or is an independent candidate.
- meet the statutory moral and ethical requirements under the Leadership and Integrity Act;
- not be a public officer or acting in any State of public office other than a Member of Parliament;
- not be an undischarged bankrupt;
- not be a person of unsound mind;
- not be subject to a sentence of imprisonment of at least six months from the date of registration of candidates or date of elections;
- not have been found to have abused or misused state or public office or contravened Chapter Six of the Constitution; and
- not have been dismissed or removed from public office for contravening the provisions of Articles 75, 76, 77 and 78 of the Constitution.
To qualify for the position of a women’s representative, a person must also be at least 18 years of age.
Requirements for the position of a Women’s Representative in Kenya
A party candidate or an independent candidate should submit certain documents to IEBC during the nomination process. The party or independent candidate can also authorize an agent to do so on their behalf.
At the moment, a university degree is not a requirement to vie for the position of a women’s representative in Kenya.
The candidate should present a certified copy of a national identity card or a valid passport. Either should be the document the candidate used to register as a voter. The candidate should also submit a passport size photograph of himself or herself with a white background in soft and hard copy.
If the candidate was a public officer, he or she should submit a letter of discharge from their employer. The letter should confirm that he or she was not an employee six months before the election date. However, this requirement does not apply to any elected representatives.
For a party candidate, the candidate should submit to IEBC a nomination certificate from a fully registered political party. The political party should be the one nominating the candidate. An authorized official in the party should duly sign the letter.
The party or independent candidate, or their authorized agent, should submit a duly signed code of conduct. The Second Schedule of the Elections Act (2011) contains the electoral code of conduct.
Commission Nomination Form 15
The candidate or their authorized agent should also submit a duly filled Commission Nomination Form 15. The form should contain the following information:
- An original Statutory Declaration Form made no earlier than one month before the nomination day. This is in accordance with Regulation 18(3) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012.
- An original Self-Declaration Form as prescribed in the First Schedule of the Leadership and Integrity Act, 2012. The form is in accordance with Regulation 46 of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012.
- the names of a proposer and a seconder who shall be registered voters. For a party candidate, the proposer and seconder must be members of the candidate’s party (Regulation 38(b) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012). In the case of an Independent Candidate, the proposer and seconder must not be members of any political party (Regulation 39(c) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012).
Additional requirements for Independent Candidates
Independent candidates must also meet some additional requirements to qualify to vie for the position of a Woman County Representative in Kenya.
They should get a clearance certificate from the Registrar of Political Parties. The certificate should indicate that the person was not a member of any political party for the last three months before the election date. (Regulation 15(a) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012).
The independent candidates should have a duly filled Form of Intention to Contest in the prescribed form. (Regulation 15(b) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012)
Every independent candidate must have a soft and a hard copy of a list of at least 1000 supporters in the prescribed form. They should submit the list to the County Returning Officer by a date IEBC prescribes.
A symbol the candidate intends to use during the election is also an additional requirement. IEBC should approve the symbol in accordance with Section 32 of the Elections Act, 2011.
The independent candidates should set up and maintain functioning offices within Kenya. Each of the offices must be available for IEBC to inspect by a certain date the Commission prescribes. The candidates should communicate the address (including physical address) of the offices to the Commission. (Regulation 20(1) and (2) of the Elections (General) Regulations, 2012).
Nomination fees for the position of a Women’s Representative in Kenya
The nomination fees should be in the form of a Banker’s Cheque payable to the IEBC. The fee is KSh10,000.