Inclusion of PWDs within Kenyan Political Parties

Inclusion of PWDs in the political parties in Kenya remains inadequate. This translates to a big gap in respect to civil and political rights of PWDS as entrenched in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities and the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.

Political parties are grappling with PWD inclusion due to unresponsive internal policies and limited capacity etc. There are opportunities existing for structured engagement with political parties towards building inclusive culture and practice.

More needs to be done in terms of capacity building of political parties leadership on inclusion. Incentives need to increased such as lowering of nomination fees and enhancing economic empowerment programmes.

There also arises the need to :

  • 1. Develop political party database for members with disability.
  • 2. Strengthening electoral systems to support PWDs.
  • 3. Empower Disability Persons Organizations as experts in inclusion matters.
  • 4. Building and strengthening DPOs coalitions.

One of the organizations that we wish to thank is the Westminister Forum Democracy that has held both virtual and physical meetings on inclusion of PWDS into political parties. These forums have enlightened DPOS on the need to participate in electoral processes.

Some of the topics discussed by WFD include:

  • Understanding Party structures this includes: Understanding Disability leagues, wings and networks and the role of DPOs/CSOs in sustaining Disability Leagues/wings/networks
  • Vying for elections-the qualifications and disqualifications of candidates.
  • Identification of candidates and the nomination processes
  • Advocacy skills including: engaging with political parties, fundraising for candidates, designing candidates manifesto, describe political communication and voter mobilization, describing political campaign strategies, describing how to build candidate’s self esteem and describe some basic negotiation skills.

As we head towards the 2022 general elections, we hope that more PWDs will join political parties in order to be at the forefront in championing for their civil and political rights.

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