Prior to being elected, President William Ruto made a promise to the women of Kenya and signed a charter at the Nyayo Stadium in June 2022. In the agreement, Ruto promised to allocate 50 percent of all cabinet positions in the Kenya Kwanza administration to women.

“I commit on behalf of Kenya Kwanza Alliance that we shall allocate 50 percent of all Cabinet positions to the women of Kenya,” he said, arguing that it would be the best way to bridge gender inequality in the country.

As the new Kenya Kwanza government gradually takes shape, it is evident that the president has not delivered on this commitment. First came the cabinet secretary positions. Constitutionally, CS posts cannot exceed 22; and if the president was a man of his words, then 11 women should have been nominated to these influential spots. Only seven women made it to Ruto's Cabinet; an equivalent of 31 per cent. 

Whereas the appointments meet the one-thirds constitutional requirement, it reflects on the mileage women in leadership in Kenya still have to go in order to attain at least 50-50 percent representation in leadership.

The CSs include Soipan Tuya (Ministry of Environment and Forestry), Rebecca Miano (Ministry of East Africa Community) Alice Wahome (Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation) Aisha Jumwa (Ministry of Public Service and Gender Affairs), Susan Wafula (Ministry of Health), Florence Bore (Ministry of Labour) and Penina Malonza (Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage).

On November 2, President William Ruto announced the names of 51 Principal Secretaries to serve in his government. Unfortunately, only 12 women were nominated, an equivalent of 23.6 percent. The list has been submitted to the National Assembly for vetting and approval.

Reacting to the recent appointments, immediate Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Prof Margaret Kobia expressed confidence in the nominees for PS posts. 

“I welcome the list of nominees for the position of Principal Secretaries as the majority of them are from public service and are competent to deliver for the government,” she said.   

However, she is concerned about the widening gender gap in political leadership and appointments. 

“It is disappointing that the nominations fall short of the target set-out in Article 26 (6), Article 27 (8) and  Article 81 (b) of Kenya’s 2010 Constitution, which states that ‘not more than two-thirds of the members in any elective or appointive positions such shall be of the same gender,” Kobia said, adding that, “I'm looking forward to seeing more efforts by the new government in closing  gender gaps for senior executive positions in government.”

Full list of the PS nominees in Kenya

Women Nominees

  1. Teresia Malokwe – State Department for Devolution

  2. Esther Ngero – State Department for Performance and Delivery Management

  3. Caroline Nyawira Murage – State Department for Correctional Services

  4. Betsy Muthoni Njagi - State Department for Blue Economy and Fisheries

  5. Roseline Njogu - State Department for Diaspora Affairs

  6. Esther Thaara Muhoria - State Department for TVET

  7. Beatrice Inyangala - State Department for Higher Education and Research

  8. Veronica Mueni Nduva – State Department for Gender and Affirmative Action

  9. Susan Mangeni - State Department for MSMEs Development

  10. Sylvia Naseya Muhoro - State Department for Wildlife

  11. Dr Josephine Mburu - State Department for Health standards and Professional Management

  12. Aurelia Rono – State Department for Parliamentary Affairs

Men Nominees

  1. Julius Korir – State Department for Cabinet Affairs

  2. Raymond Omollo – State Department for Interior & National Administration

  3. Prof. Julis Bitok - State Department for Citizen Services

  4. Chris Kiptoo – The National Treasury

  5. James Muhati – State Department for Economic Planning

  6. Patrick Mariro – Defence

  7. Dr Korir Sing’oei – State Department for Foreign Affairs

  8. Amos Gathecha – State Department for Public Service

  9. Joseph Mungai Mbugua – State Department for Roads

  10. Mohamed Dhagar – State Department for Transport

  11. Nixon Korir – State Department for Lands and Physical Planning

  12. Charles Hinga - State Department for Housing and Urban Development

  13. Joel Arumoyang - State Department for Public Works

  14. Prof. Edward Kisiangani - State Department for Broadcasting and Telecommunications

  15. Eng. John Kipchumba Tanui  - State Department for ICT and the Digital Economy

  16. Eng. Peter Tum - State Department for Medical Services

  17. Dr Belio Kipsang - State Department for Basic Education

  18. Philip Kello Harsama - State Department for Crop Development

  19. Harry Kimutai - State Department for Livestock development

  20. Alfred K’Ombundo - State Department for Trade

  21. Abubakar Hassan - State Department for Investment promotion

  22. Juma Mukhwana - State Department for Industry

  23. Patrick Kiburi Kilemi - State Department for Cooperatives

  24. Ismail Madey - State Department for Youth Affairs

  25. Jonathan Mueke - State Department for Sports and The Arts

  26. Festus Ngeno - State Department for Environment

  27. Ephantus Kimotho - State Department for Forestry

  28. John Ololtuaa - State Department for Tourism

  29. Ummy Mohammed Bashir - State Department for Culture and Heritage

  30. Dr Paul Ronoh - State Department for Water and Sanitation

  31. Gitonga Mugambi - State Department for Irrigation

  32. Alex Wachira - State Department for Energy

  33. Mohamed Liban - State Department for Petroleum

  34. Geoffrey Kaituko - State Department for Labour and Skills Development

  35. Joseph Mugosi - State Department for Social Protection and Senior Citizen Affairs

  36. Abdi Dubart - State Department for East African Community Affairs

  37. Idris Dogota - State Department for The ASALs and Regional development

  38. Elijah Mwangi - State Department for Mining

  39. Shadrack Mwadime - State Department for Shipping and Maritime Affairs



Globally, women and girls continue to hold unrealized potential, as the wheels of change in women's empowerment turn rather slowly. Yet women’s equal participation and leadership in political and public life are essential.  Read more