Women call for gender parity, present irreducible minimums

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 00:00 |
Constitution of Kenya. Photo/Courtesy

Alice Gworo/KNA

Women under the caucus of the “Common Women’s Agenda” have called for the full implementation of the not more than two-third gender principle across all arms and levels in public service and private sector as anchored in the present Constitution.

 The women asked the private sector to lead by example in the implementation of the not more than two-thirds gender principle in recruitment and promotion of staff and other affirmative action programmes.

 They called for zero tolerance to gender-based violence, sexual gender-based violence, political and electoral violence, female genital mutilation, child marriage, femicide, defilement, child sexual abuse, teenage pregnancies, child prostitution, trafficking and slavery.

 Tabling the recommendations and resolutions at a forum held in Nairobi, was United Nations Women Country Director Ann Mutavati, who further demanded for a guaranteed security for vulnerable members of society like People Living with Disabilities (PWDs) and categorically support the age of sexual consent to remain 18 and above to allow for full development of children.

This they said was part of what will inform the basis for women participation and negotiation in the national discourse.

  In what they termed as an irreducible minimum, Mutavati further emphasised on the critical aspect of access to affordable and accessible health care and establishment of robust infrastructure within the framework and principle of Universal Health Care to effectively tackle emergency, cancer, among others.

Mutavati further noted that the Women in Kenya resolved that Independent  Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)  institutes all policies/ regulations for effective, open and timely planning and managing elections at least one year before elections.

“IEBC should be restricted to a four-year term with a selection panel of nine comprised of different stakeholders among them professionals, political parties, academia, constitutional commissions and faith-based organisations,’ she said.

Present was Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Principal Secretary Safina Tsungu who noted that women strategic needs are universal and called on them to pull together for a common goal and good.

‘These are issues close to Prof. Margaret Kobia’s heart and as a ministry, we are at pains when we see women pulling apart,” said Tsungu who further noted that women are one tribe and one identity.

 Moderating the session was Nairobi County Speaker Beatrice Elachi who further noted that as women leaders in the country they are fully committed to the fight against corruption and their commitment is resolute with the prayer that the momentum is maintained and there shall be no sacred cows and commit to zero tolerance to corruption.

 “We need to strengthen the office of the Auditor-General and provide for a national day for a joint sitting of Parliament to receive the reports of the Auditor-General as a closure to the budget implementation cycle and to inform subsequent allocations, “she added.

 The women of Kenya recommended full implementation of the 30 per cent of the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPO) with support for financing and timely payments and ensure it remains for the intended beneficiaries- for Women, youth and PWD.

 Homa Bay Women Representative Gladys Wanga who graced the occasion called on leaders of political parties to respect and effect constitutional principles on equality and lead in instilling internal democracy and inclusive agenda.

 The women, majority of who were drawn from across the political divide, called on their folk countrywide to champion the Kenya Women Agenda and in particular their irreducible minimums.

They urged President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga to honour their promise to the Kenyan women and commit to ensuring 100 per cent implementation of the Kenyan Women’s Agenda

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