EDITORIAL: How to get gender parity in Parliament

CORD MPs walk out of Parliament after three of their collegues were suspended from attending parliament proceedings due to Parliamentary misconduct during the security bill debate last December.Photo/HEZRON NJOROGE
CORD MPs walk out of Parliament after three of their collegues were suspended from attending parliament proceedings due to Parliamentary misconduct during the security bill debate last December.Photo/HEZRON NJOROGE

The National Assembly has debated a bill to create nominated women MPs to ensure the two-thirds gender balance is achieved in Parliament.

Potentially this could result in another 80 or so MPs in Parliament. Is this affordable or even desirable?

We all support equal rights for women but it takes time to achieve. Women are taking an increasingly prominent role in the US Congress and UK Parliament but this was not achieved overnight by diktat.

Even with its executive power, government has not achieved the correct gender balance with ministers and PSs.

The gender rule as it stands is too rigid. The Constitution should be amended so that the two-thirds rule becomes an aspirational target rather than a legal obligation that we fail to achieve.

One more easily achievable measure would be to amend the Political Parties Act ( as originally proposed) so that one-third of a party’s election candidates have to be women. Not all would get elected but many would and that would change the nature of politics.

Quote of the day: "I have died many times. I have actually beaten Jesus Christ because he only died once."

Robert Mugabe

The Zimbabwean president resigned on 21 November, 2017