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Ethnic Division and the Substantive Representation of Women: A Case Study on the Kenyan Cross-party Parliamentary Women's Caucus
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study aims to understand the Kenyan cross-party parliamentary women’s caucus success at representing women substantively despite ethnic division. The Kenyan case highlights a paradox: the cross-party parliamentary women’s caucus is successful in a country where politics is shaped by ethnic division, which contradicts existing theories suggesting that the many layers of identity politics would make it difficult for the members to cooperate on a common women’s agenda. The material was collected during ten weeks in Nairobi through interviews with women MPs within the caucus and through observation of meetings, events, and the daily work of the caucus. The findings suggest that women’s issues are perceived as non-political, and non-controversial, which makes it possible for the members to cooperate on a common women’s agenda. Kenya seems to be in an initial stage of gender mainstreaming where the caucus’s members cooperate on women’s fundamental rights, on which they can all agree. It is reasonable to believe that the political parties will develop ideological differences concerning women’s issues as Kenya achieves a certain level of gender equality. The cross-party parliamentary women’s caucus will, according to the findings, be essential to improve the substantive representation of women in the Parliament.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 42 p.
Keyword [en]
Substantive representation of women, ethnic division, conflicting loyalties, women’s cross-party parliamentary women’s caucuses, women’s issues, Kenya, KEWOPA
National Category
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-306627OAI: diva2:1040934
Subject / course
Political Science
Educational program
Bachelor Programme in Political Science
Available from: 2016-10-31 Created: 2016-10-31 Last updated: 2016-10-31Bibliographically approved

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Department of Government
Political Science

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