FACTORS INFLUENCING WOMEN PARTICIPATION IN POLITICS IN KILIFI NORTH SUB-COUNTY, KENYA
MUSA, TIMOTHY MWAKA
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Women participation in politics is not only a human right but is also fundamental aspect in the achievement of comprehensive, unbiased and sustainable development. Women need to participate actively in politics for inclusive democratic governance at national as well as at county levels. There is a genuine need for women inclusion and gender equality in governance, as well as other sectors due to the gender gaps that still exist in most realms of life across the globe. It is in this light that the study delved into the determinants of women participation in politics in Kilifi North Sub-County, Kenya. The study aimed at assessing the level of women participation in politics; finding out the socio-economic factors influencing women participation in politics and examining mechanisms that can enhance women participation in politics. A cross-sectional survey research design was adopted to study a sample of 116 households. Data collection was done using interview schedules and key informant interviews (KII), after which the data was analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer software. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the cultural, socio-economic and political factors that actuate women participation in politics whereas inferential statistics aided in the examination of the relationship between these factors and women participation in politics. The study found that marital status influenced women participation in politics (p=0.005; Crammer’s V= 0.259). Similarly, education level of women influenced their participation in politics (p=0.019; Crammer’s V=0.218). Institutionalization of quotas to enhance women participation in politics was found to have significant influence on women participation in politics (p=0.038; Crammer’s V=0.123). The study concludes that there was low women participation in politics. Accordingly, the study recommends the need to provide vi advocacy and education to the community on how to enhance participation of women in politics. There is need to increase women participation in vying for legislative seats through leadership advisory services. Within political parties, the study recommends the need to increase women participation in campaigns by creating positions that can only be filled by women. The study recommends the need for institutionalization of political quotas.