Women Mps oppose bill seeking to have gender parity in parliament achieved

By Franco Kundu

Women parliamentarians have taken issue with their male counterparts that they accuse of frustrating their efforts to realize the two thirds gender rule in elective positions.

Led by Rose Nyamunga [Kisumu], Mishi Mboko [Mombasa] and Susan Musyoka [Machakos] the women MPs accused their male counterparts of misleading the public that the constitution of Kenya [Amendment] Bill should  be passed in its current form to avoid dissolution of Parliament.

While contributing to the Bill fronted by the Samuel Chepkonga Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, the female legislators said they have exhausted options of marshalling support from male parliamentarians to realize the two thirds gender rule in elective positions.

According to the women lawmakers, the bill was against the spirit of the constitution arguing that the term progressive was not providing any timelines for implementation.

While opposing the Bill MPs Ken Obura [Kibra], Wesley Korir [Cherangany] and Ugunja’s Opiyo Wandayi said there will be no meaningful development if women are sidelined.

They noted that gender representation should not be limited to the legislature alone.

This is the third time national assembly is failing to agree on how to achieve gender parity.

In May this year, MPs boycotted the vote on a constitution amendment bill that sought to have gender parity attained through nomination of the lesser gender. The same bill was later reintroduced in the senate by Senator Judith Sijeny only for senators to boycott the sittings.

To achieve the two thirds gender principle as envisaged in the Constitution, the current Parliament needs 117 women out of the total Members of Parliament.