In Kenya, no progress on progressive 30% gender quota

Kenya – Talking about local resource management in the context of rural African communities means talking about the specific role of women and gender differentiation in resource rights and responsibilities. This affects aspects of control over and access to resources, different types of resource use, divisions of responsibilities, local leadership participation and environmental knowledge.

In order to challenge potential social imbalances, which often disadvantage women, Kenya introduced a new gender quota in its constitution in 2010, mandating that “not more than two-thirds of the members of the elective or appointive bodies shall be the same gender” (GOK 2010, p. 25). As part of the current Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) research project on the ‘water towers’ of East Africa funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), researchers examined the effects of this gender quota as well as broader gender differentiation on the performance of community forest associations (CFAs), water resource users’ associations (WRUAs) and local resource use.

They found that, due to cultural norms and traditional value systems, the quota has yet to be implemented, and gender inequality in leadership, access to financial benefits and profit sharing persists – and, most women are fine with this. Read the full story on Forests News.