These are the women breaking new ground in Kenya’s politics and business.
By Zara Dieny | Published November 4, 2018
Editor’s note: This article was first published in July 2018. It has been updated with interviews and statistics from October 2018.
Every week Zara Dieny sits down with a different member of parliament, cabinet minister, business leader or government spokesperson to discuss the social and political issues affecting their communities—issues that directly impact the lives of millions of Kenyans.
Here is a look at five of the women leaders who are breaking ground, and shaping the path forward for a better country.
1. Nafsheen Kader
Nafsheen Kader is the Secretary for Finance and the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.
A former public school teacher, Nafsheen is the first woman to be elected as parliamentary secretary to cabinet in the history of Kenya’s parliament—the House of Parliament. She is also the first female cabinet minister to hold a position in any government ministry in the history of the country.
Nafsheen was elected in a high profile political contest—the July 9, 2015 general election. Although she won her seat on the ticket of the Kenya National Alliance (KNA) political party, she is a member of the Opposition which she co-founded in 2008, while teaching in the public schools.
She serves on committees focused on public finance, national security, and education and education finance. She also serves on the committee of public accounts.
She is not afraid to hold controversial positions in politics. “I am not afraid of the politics,” she says. “It does not interfere; on the contrary, it inspires you to be a champion for what you believe is right.”
2. Margaret Karuhanga
In 1993, Margaret Karuhanga became the first woman elected to the Legislative Council of Kenya. For a number of years, she served as Deputy Minister for Information and Communications. She was the first female cabinet minister to hold an office in the ministry.