Senators spell doom on two-thirds gender rule

Thursday, November 21st, 2019 17:39 |

A powerful Senate Committee has spell doom to a renewed push to have more women nominated to Parliament through the implementation of the two-thirds gender rule.

The Senate Legal Affairs and Justice Committee says the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2019 is retrogressive and infringes on the political rights of the public.

In its annual report tabled in the Senate on Thursday, the committee chaired by Nandi Senator Samson Cherarkey said the impact of the current crop of nominated women to both the National Assembly and Senate is yet to be felt.

As such, the committee held, it will be needless to shove up the women numbers in both Houses of Parliament.

“There is a clear demonstration that women have come of age and can compete in elective politics and win like their male counterparts,” the report reads in part.

It continues: “For instance, there are currently three duly elected women senators and three elected women governors.”

Further, Senator Samson Cherarkey-led committee noted that nominated women are not a representation of Wanjiku as there are factors such as qualification and contribution in society should be taken into consideration when making such nominations.

“Other marginalized groups such as youth and persons living with disabilities face the same challenges as women. The committee recommends that the bill be rejected,” concludes the report.

The bill, which is a fifth one since the promulgation of the new constitution in 2010, is co-sponsored by Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo and his nominated counterpart Senator Haji Farhiya Ali.

It proposes to amend Article 97 of the Constitution to give effect to the two-thirds gender principle through the creation of special seats that will ensure that the gender principle is realized in Parliament.

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