In 2016, Men for Gender Equality Now (MEGEN), The Regional Office of the Swedish NGO ‘We Effect’ in East Africa and GROOTS Kenya joined forces and successfully applied for resources from the European Union to implement the Women Political Representation Enhanced (WOPRE 2017) project in the Counties of Taita Taveta, Homa Bay, Laikipia and Kiambu here in Kenya.
The applicants know each other from previous and ongoing governance and gender equality work supported by We Effect in Kenya. This two year project aims at promoting women’s political participation through transformation of institutions, social-cultural structures, systems, perceptions, beliefs and practices that prohibit women’s political participation and representation. Acknowledging that such changes do not happen in a linear process, the action uses multi-pronged approaches in order to win political support for women in the 2017 general elections.
Women’s poor representation in political leadership intersects with other axes of inequality such as women’s low economic status, culture of gender-based marginalization from economic sectors and decision making spaces. This action seeks to enhance progressive gender sensitive, political and socio-cultural beliefs and practices through inter-linked networks of actors.
Some of these actors are already in support of women’s political participation and are contesting the status quo or forming networks and alliances for social justice to enable change to enhance women’s participation in leadership positions. These allies alongside other champions for women political participation have been organized into strong movements that driving the change process.