Winfred Nyiva Mwendwa is a Kenyan politician. She was the first Kenyan woman to serve as a cabinet minister.
She was educated at Alliance Girls High School. She was elected for the post of Kitui West Constituency MP three times, in 1974 and 1992 representing KANU and in 2002 representing NARC. At the 2007 elections she contested the seat on the ODM-Kenya ticket, but lost to Charles Mutisya Nyamai.
Mwendwa was appointed the Minister for Culture and Social Services on May 9, 1995, becoming the first female minister in Kenya.
She caused a national disfavour in 1995 when she travelled to women’s conference in Beijing in 1995 and took a hairdresser as a part of her delegation. Mwendwa herself defended the decision by stating that being a delegation leader, she must take care of her appearance.
Her husband Kitili Maluki Mwendwa was Kenyan chief justice and politician. Kitili Mwendwa died in a traffic accident in 1985. He was at the time the Kitui West MP, his seat was taken at the subsequent by-election by his brother Kyale Mwendwa. His other brother, Eliud Ngala Mwendwa is also a former Kenyan minister.
- "Alliance Girls High School: Historical Perspectives". Alliancegirlshigh.com. 1948-02-28. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
- Center for Multiparty Democracy: Politics and Parliamentarians in Kenya 1944–2007
- Parliamentary election results 2007 - Kitui West
- The Power of the Media - A Handbook for Peacebuilders: Kenya - Gender and Conflict Media Projects Edited by Ross Howard, Francis Rolt, Hans van de Veen and Juliette Verhoeven
- The Standard, October 23, 2008: Nyiva Mwendwa: Never give in to despair
- David Throup & Charles Hornsby: Multi-party Politics in Kenya James Currey Publishers, 1998 ISBN 0-85255-804-X