Didn’t they say that the future is female? Of the 24 Cabinet Secretaries that were successfully vetted, eight of them are women and today, (27 October 2022), they take the oath of office.
The previous administration had roughly the same number of women in various cabinet positions. Unfortunately, none of them will serve in the current cabinet but it goes to show that the marker was laid and there’s no going back. In fact, we are hoping that in future, the numbers will go up.
Without further ado, let’s find out who the newly elected female cabinet secretaries are.
1. Alice Wahome - CS Water, Sanitation and Irrigation
Alice Wahome's entry into politics can be traced back to 1997 when she was a member of the Kenya Women’s Caucus. Her bid to become the Member of Parliament for Kandara constituency began in 2002. She unsuccessfully vied and tried again in 2007 but fell shot.
They say the third time is a charm and in 2013, she secured the seat and has served in that capacity ever since. She is now part of William Ruto’s cabinet as the Cabinet Secretary of Water, Sanitation and irrigation.
Alice is recognised for her vocal support of women’s issues. She graduated from the University of Nairobi with a law degree.
2. Ms Susan Nakhumicha - CS Health
Many might not recognise her politically but Ms Susan Nakhumicha unsuccessfully vied for the Women’s Representative seat of Bungoma county in the just concluded general elections.
Without much political mileage, her resume explains why President William Ruto saw her fit to be the cabinet secretary for health. Until her appointment, she headed the supply department at the University of California San Francisco, a position which saw her deal with preventing infectious diseases.
Additionally, she holds a diploma in pharmacy from the Kenya Medical Training Institute and Healthcare Management from the Kenya Institute of Management.
3. Soipan Tuya - CS Environment and Forestry
Soipan Tuya is the first Maasai woman to receive a cabinet position in Kenya. She is the former Women's Representative of Narok County and has been christened Narok’s ‘Iron Lady’.
This can be seen through her ambitions. She had her eye set on the gubernatorial seat of Narok County but abandoned her quest after the leader of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) President William Ruto intervened.
Soipan holds a master's degree in Law from the University of Washington and a degree in the same field from the University of Nairobi.
4. Ms Rebecca Miano - CS East African Community, Arid and Semi-Arid Lands and Regional Development
Ms Rebecca Miano is a corporate executive who has worked in high positions. Until her appointment, she was the Managing Director and CEO at KenGen and the first woman in the company’s history to take the role. She held several roles within the company such as the assistant legal officer and acting company secretary.
Ms Miano is an alumnus of the University of Nairobi where she graduated with a degree in Law. She also holds a master’s in Law which she obtained from the Australian National University.
5. Ms Florence Bore - CS Labour and Social Protection
The new cabinet secretary for Labour and social protection Ms Florene Bore began her political journey in 2012 after she resigned from her post as a teacher.
She unsuccessfully contested for the Women’s Representative role at Kericho county but landed a role as the Director of Education in charge of vocational training at Bomet County.
Her position as the Director General of the Geothermal Development Company came in 2015. Two years on she vied for the second time for the position of Women Rep position in Bomet county and secured the job which she held until the 2022 elections.
6. Ms Mercy Wanjau - Secretary to the Cabinet
Ms Wanjau has held a couple of high-profile corporate positions. She was the Acting Directo General at the Communications Authority of Kenya. She also held the position of Director of legal service at the organisation. She has an extensive background as a regulatory and governance expert as well as in commercial law.
7. Peninah Malonza - Tourism and Wildlife
The newly appointed cabinet secretary of tourism and wildlife Peninah Malonza is the former Deputy Governor of Kitui county, a position she held twice (2013 & 2017).
During the 2022 general election, she unsuccessfully vied for the Women’s Representative position in Kitui.
Peninah is an alumnus of the University of Nairobi. She holds a degree in Anthropology, holds a master's degree in project planning and management and is pursuing another in public health.
8. Aisha Jumwa - CS Public Service and Gender Affairs
Aisha is one of the most vocal female politicians in the country and is known for her no-nonsense take on issues. Her political journey began in 1997 when she clinched the Takaunga ward seat and got re-elected in 2002.
After she lost the Kilifi South position in 2007, she reinvented how she approached the political game and in 2013, she became the Kilifi Women’s Representative and later the member of parliament for Malindi Township.
You might defer to her brand of politics but Aisha Jumwa is an excellent example of what happens when women stand up for themselves and take their space.
Read More: Africa's Most Influential Women