Factors influencing women participation in political process the case of the Orange Democratic Movement party, Kenya
The primary purpose of the study was to study factors influencing women participation in political process in Orange Democratic Movement, Kenya.This was guided by the following objectives: social factors, economicfactors, personal factors andpoliticalstructure in assess how this factors influencewomen participation in political process in Orange Democratic Movement. The study adopted a descriptive survey method. The target population of this study consists of the 222members of Orange Democratic Movement at Nairobi Head office. The categories of members are; the party leaders, the Strategist, women leaguesand think tanks of the party.A sample of 143 respondents were picked using simple stratified random sampling techniques. On the same basis of each constituency, the study population consisted of people who have been, or are actively engaged in electoral politics before, during, or after elections.The results of the study was both qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative data collected using a questionnaire were also analyzed by the use of descriptive statistics using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and presented through percentages, means, standard deviations and frequencies. The information was represented by use of tables. This was done by tallying up responses, computing percentages of variations in response as well as describing and interpreting the data in line with the study objectives through use of SPSS. The study may necessitate the call for the empowerment of women by according them their due status, rights and responsibilities and enabling them to participate actively in decision making activities. Women are a major force behind people‟s participation in life and society today. Although, women have made great strides forward in obtaining a vote and right to be elected to political offices in many countries, they comprise less than 15 per cent of the Members of Parliament, and less than 5 per cent of heads of state worldwide.Findings of the study indicates that women in political process are in the process of attaining economic, social and political equality; to be well informed; to have access to basic services and achieve maximum representation at all decision making levels. The study concludes that when women stay in politics for long, and especially if they continue to be a minority in a very masculine political climate, they may undergo a process of „masculinization‟, where they tend to do things in the traditional, masculine and patriarchal ways. The study recommends women need to be more purposeful about working on the personal factors that hinder them from taking their rightful place in society. They need to work on issues of self-esteem and confidence in relation to politics.