Will Kenya's 2010 Constitution work for women and children?

Briefing papers
May 2012

The vision of social equity enshrined in Kenya's 2010 Constitution marks a break with the past. It aims to resolve practices and patterns of social exclusion and establishes the basis for a different narrative of state-society relations.

Drawing on recent research for UNICEF, this Project Briefing outlines some of the key features of the 2010 Constitution, and considers the challenges to implementation. It examines some of the gaps between the constitutional commitment and the existing realities for most Kenyans, especially with regard to the social exclusion of women and children.

It lays out four particular areas where efforts could be focused to increase social justice and strengthen accountability, and to ensure that institutional and legislative reforms follow a coherent and effective trajectory:

  1. Greater dialogue across sectors and policy spheres.
  2. More strategic deployment of information and data. 
  3. More support to coalitions of key actors.
  4. Strategic recourse to the principle of ‘progressive realisation’.   

Expectations for Kenya's Constitution remain high; this Project Briefing offers guidance on how to increase the viability of its vision of social equity.