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Kenya’s 2010 Constitution and the Socio-Economic Empowerment of Women in Kiambu County, Kenya

Abstract: This study sought to investigate how Kenya’s 2010 Constitution has impacted the Socio- Economic empowerment of women in Kiambu County. Specifically, the study sought to determine the role of gender equality on the socio-economic empowerment, how the two-thirds gender rule has empowered women in political participation and the influence of women’s empowerment in the access of different credit facilities and economic resources that have been put in place. Applied descriptive survey research and mixed methods of data collection were used. The study targeted of 1500 people with a sample size of 100 women aged between 21 to 49 years. From the findings, the constitution has had mixed effects on women empowerment in the county. Majority of the respondents were aware of the social economic rights and further felt that both men and women enjoyed equal opportunities. Respondents were also in agreement that the the two thirds gender rule had encouraged more women to participate in politics. It was recommended that, Gender equality (Two thirds gender principle) be integrated into political party constitutions and party electoral rules as well as practice. Political parties were identified the best crusaders of gender equality and this can be achieved through elimating male dorminance in top positions of political paties. It was further recommended that Political party leadership, the registrar of political parties and the electoral body (IEBC) should ensure compliance to increase women representation in the legislative bodies. Parties to come up with voluntary measures for gender equality within political parties and have political will for their implementation. Key Words: women, empowerment, gender, political participation

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