Accepted paper:

Flower girls? Examining the contribution of women representatives' development projects on communities in Kenya


Ruth Murumba (Moi University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the contribution of development projects initiated by women representatives to the improvement of livelihoods of local communities.

Paper long abstract:

The clamour for the passing of the two thirds gender principle in the Kenyan national parliament has reignited debate on the relevance of women legislators in general and Women Representatives in particular. There has been public outcry about the constitutional provisions setting out that women must be included in the parliament to meet certain thresholds. This has raised issues regarding the role of an open and competitive political system. Furthermore there is public perception of a lack of clearly defined roles as that of Members of Parliament; their relevance, contribution and constituencies raises many questions. Allocation and use of the funds to their offices is subject to scrutiny leading to allegations of financial misappropriation. This paper seeks to contribute to the literature on the developmental impact of the increase of women in the national legislatures and whether there is enough evidence to highlight their position as leaders. An examination of whether these women aid in improving the livelihoods and their impact of their visibility in society is essential in building public confidence.

panel B2
Just add women? The developmental impact of opening up politics to women