Women and power: shaping the development of Kenya's 2010 constitution

Research reports and studies
February 2016
Pilar Domingo and Aoife McCullough with Florence Simbiri and Bernadette Wanjala

This study focuses on the role of Kenyan women and gender activists in shaping the 2010 constitutional reform process in Kenya and the outcomes of this in relation to advancing gender equality and a women's rights agenda.

It finds that through negotiating access to decision-making forums in the constitutional review process, women were able to successfully argue and lobby for the inclusion of many gender-progressive articles and series of checks and balances on executive power.

The authors make clear that we need to temper our enthusiasm for how much formal change can translate into transforming norms, belief systems and practices; there is a need for much finer analysis of how constitutional change can affect these aspects of public behaviour in Kenya.

The study concludes with a number of policy recommendations for how the international development community can further support the empowerment and decision-making capabilities of women in Kenyan politics and society.