By Florence Gichoya
President Uhuru Kenyatta recently gave a more comprehensive list of cabinet nominees. Previously he had given only four nominees to the position of cabinet secretaries. I am pleased that out of the 16 nominees 6 are women. This is not a majority number but a definite improvement from the previous government cabinet appointments and in line with the constitutional guidelines on gender balance in public appointments.
The cabinet secretaries’ nominees are as follows
1. Ambassador Rachel Omamo – Defence
2. Ambassador Amina Mohamed – Foreign affairs
3. Ann Waiguru – Devolution and planning
4. Professor Judy Wakhungu – Environment, water and natural resources
5. Charity Ngilu – Land, housing and urban development
6. Phyllis Kandie – East African affairs and tourism
These women nominees are not just hailed because of their gender but also because of their impressive resumes. And I am certain that they will inspire many women to work hard and not shy away from leadership positions.
The first Kenyan woman to be appointed cabinet minister was Winfred Nyiva Mwendwa in 1992. She was assigned the Ministry of Culture and Social Services.
Indeed we live in a patriarchal society and the government should strive to promote gender equality; in order to foster development and fast track achieving Kenya’s vision 2030.
As we wait for the vetting process by the parliamentary committee. I wish the women nominees all the best. This will be the largest number we have had for women in terms of nomination