Women’s Election Participation: Kenya
"Less than one-in-five political representatives in the world today are women. It is a worrying statistic at this point of human development and impossible to justify.”
Women's underrepresentation in political and civic realms leads to neglect of the issues that concern and affect them, and the state of women’s local leadership affects us all.
There is a powerful correlation between women's access to media, information, and networks of other women, to their ability to organize and elect women leaders.
Technology + Local Grassroots Networks = Powerful Representation
The Women’s P2P Network is launching a program to increase women’s political participation and leadership.
- Voter education on how to register and vote
- Election information on the candidates and issues on the ballot
- Helping women know if they are eligible to run for office
- Reporting of harassment of and threats against women running for office
- Accessibility for illiterate women through integration with voice applications and radio
First Initiative: Kenya
Our first program is in Kenya, where we are partnering with Kenyan technical women and women’s organizations to develop technology to support women’s participation in the upcoming Kenyan Presidential election in March 2013.
Kenya, an economic giant in Africa, is a dwarf in women’s political representation today. Kenya’s female representation is only 9.8% -- far less than its African neighbors of Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda at 30-60% female representation.
In Kenya, our approach is to partner with local Kenyan Women’s Organizations and Ushahidi (who created the protest maps in the previous Kenyan election), and to utilize appropriate technology and delivery, including reaching illiterate and rural women through community radio.
These key electoral issues affect women and their political participation in every country on earth. Kenya is our first launch site, and our intent is to tailor and replicate our technology apps and successes in other nations around the globe. We believe women coming together on this lynchpin issue will significantly impact others for women, with a widescale, positive ripple effect.