President William Ruto has made a commitment to ensure that his party, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), includes a female deputy president in the near future.

Addressing attendees during the launch of the G7 Council Women Governors Caucus Strategy event at Safari Park, Ruto emphasized his intention to sit down with his deputy, Rigathi Gachagua, to establish a policy where if a male candidate is chosen for presidency within their party, the running mate must be a female counterpart. Similarly, if a female candidate is selected, a male running mate will be considered.

Ruto underscored the importance of this decision in leading his party towards actively supporting women and facilitating the realization of the two-thirds gender rule, aiming for a more balanced representation in leadership roles.

The president emphasized that this policy extends beyond the national level to the county level, where gubernatorial candidates will also be expected to adhere to the same principle of gender balance in their running mates.

He stressed that this initiative requires collaboration from all political leaders, transcending party lines, as they collectively advocate for women’s participation in leadership roles.

Highlighting the deliberate selection of Embu Governor Cicily Mbarire as the chairperson of UDA, Ruto emphasized the necessity of intentionality in promoting gender equality within the party structure.

Ruto expressed confidence that other party leaders across the political spectrum would support similar initiatives, citing instances where leaders from various parties have endorsed women candidates in past elections.

The G7 Council Women Governors Caucus, comprising the seven elected women governors in Kenya, aims to empower and support women leaders in demonstrating effective governance within the devolved structures.

Ruto’s commitment comes in the wake of his recent call for Kenyans to vote for women leaders whenever the opportunity arises, reflecting a broader societal shift towards acknowledging and supporting women in leadership roles.

While the current count of seven women governors marks a notable improvement compared to the 2017 elections, where only three women were elected as governors, there remains a continued effort towards achieving greater gender parity in political representation.

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