Case study of the gender factor in devolved governance in Rwanda (1997-2003) and lessons for Kenya
The promulgation of the new constitution in August 25th 2010 required that the Kenyan government adopt a devolved system of governance from the earlier centralized system of government. This therefore came into effect after the March 2013 elections. With this new development in Kenyan politics, there have been several challenges that have come with it. One challenge is that of adequate representation of marginalized social groups such as the youth and women. Globally, Rwanda has the highest number of women legislators; this can be attributed to deliberate measures undertaken by the Government of Rwanda so as to increase the number of women in governance. Today, Rwanda is making great progress as a post conflict society despite the 1994 genocide. The main objective of this study is to examine the gender factor in devolved governance in Rwanda and with the view of drawing some lessons for Kenya. The specific objectives of this study therefore examines the effect of the gender factor on devolution in Rwanda; analyzes the various measures undertaken by the government of Rwanda to increase the participation of women in governance and to identify and recommend appropriate lessons from the government of Rwanda for Kenya’s devolved government. The study employs a feminist theoretical framework and specifically the standpoint approach within feminist International Relations (IR). A general analysis of Rwanda’s foreign relations in respect to the gender factor is provided in this study. The study relies heavily on qualitative methods of data collection as survey research methods was constrained by challenges related to accessibility and time.