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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Two-third rule will not be met, women demand for action

Bomet Jubilee elect leaders from left woman representative Joyce Korir, Christopher Langat (Senator), Joyce Laboso and his deputy Hillary Barchok and Bmet East MP Beatrice Kones display their certificates shortly after being declared winners in the concluded election. /Felix Kipkemoi
Bomet Jubilee elect leaders from left woman representative Joyce Korir, Christopher Langat (Senator), Joyce Laboso and his deputy Hillary Barchok and Bmet East MP Beatrice Kones display their certificates shortly after being declared winners in the concluded election. /Felix Kipkemoi

The number of elected women Members of Parliament is set to go up in the 12th August House, but will still be below the one third minimum set by the Constitution.

So far, the elected women MP's are 23 going by the IEBC's provisional results. The last parliament had 16 women.

None of the 47 county assemblies will meet the constitutional threshold of not more than two thirds members of either gender. Political parties will have to nominate the required number of MCAs to comply with the principle.

The federation of women lawyers, FIDA, has threatened to seeking court orders to bar the swearing in of the next Parliament if it is non-compliant to the gender rule.

“We have already put up a legal team and we will be moving to court as soon as possible,” FIDA Chairperson Josephine Mong'are said in a statement.

Mong'are applauded the women who clinched various seats in this years General elections.

Public Service, Youth and Gender CS Sicily Kariuki said she is impressed by the larger number of elected women this year. She however said there was still a long way to go because the constitutional threshold has not been achieved.

“There is a general acceptance now in that women are needed in offices and along political spheres. But we still have a long way to go as a country. We are not there yet in terms of the constitutional threshold,” she said.

National Gender and Equality Commission Chair Wilfred Lichuma congratulated the pioneer women Governors and elected Senators.

She said her commission has no doubt they will infuse much-needed representation aimed at empowering men, women and the vulnerable in the society.

She noted that Kenyans are also debunking the attitudes around patriarchy and negative gender stereotypes after the North Eastern and Samburu Regions produced for the first time a female Senator in Isiolo County and two MPs in Ijara and Samburu West Constituencies.

“As we wait for the IEBC to conclude tallying and announce the final results, we wish to see a disaggregated schedule of all elected members by gender, age and disability status. We shall continue to monitor the integration and application of the principles of equality and inclusion throughout the remaining part of the electioneering process up to its logical conclusion,” read her statement.

The High Court in March ruled that Parliament and the Attorney General to take steps to ensure that the required two-third legislation is enacted within a period of 60 days and to report the progress to the Chief Justice.

If Parliament failed to enact the said legislation, the court ruled, anyone was at liberty to petition the Chief Justice to advise the President to dissolve Parliament.

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