Factors responsible for disparity in the ratio of men to women in the Kenyan Judiciary: a study of Nairobi province
Luanga, Salome Atieno
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Most governments are now concerned with improving women employment. Generally the Kenya Government is determined to increase it by the year 2015. (United Nations, 2000) In order to achieve this objective, research was necessary to determine the factors behind gender disparity in areas such as the judicial)' in Kenya, with a view to suggesting some steps that could be taken to ameliorate the situation. This study was specifically set out to achieve several objectives; the main one being to assess the factors that contribute to higher ratio for men to women in the judiciary. To achieve this, data was collected using the following instruments; questionnaires and interview schedules from sampled members of judiciary staff. Observation schedules and secondary data were used in getting required information from the judicial staff. Although subtle means of discrimination cannot be ruled out, no overt gender discrimination was detected by the study. Instead the study revealed that promotion policies, education, culture, mass media. seemed to contribute' to a greater extent to the under-representation of women in the judiciary in senior professional ranks and in administration. Other important factors contributing to female under-representation were lack of professional commitment and ambitiousness on the part of the female judicial staff, the attraction to the corporate sector and private firms and political considerations in appointments. The findings also showed that promotion and appointment criteria is well documented but was not properly followed and was frequently changed. Other factors that very much influenced the promotions or appointments of judiciary staff included ethnicity, nepotism, political affiliation and personal relationships. These factors however are not gender sensitive. Several measures were advanced by the respondents to help improve female representation. In the light of these findings the researcher records that there is a need to have gender parity in the judiciary so as to optimally utilize women resources.