AG asked to give direction on two-third gender rule

A section of Women leaders have asked the Attorney General (AG) to give IEBC and the Country appropriate advice on how to ensure the next National Assembly is properly constituted with not more than two-thirds of either gender.

They said that in the absence of proper action, they would move to the courts and seek orders to blocking the swearing in of the next parliament until the constitutional requirements are met.

The women leaders under the umbrella ‘Concerned Women Nairobi’ (CWN) said that the number of Women Candidates verses male candidates for the seats being contested is only six percent.

Only 140 women are vying for posts against 2,367 men, said the women leaders.

Speaking in Nairobi, yesterday, at the Women Empowerment forum, Advocate Roseline Odede said that the statistics confirm that the one- third minimum shall not be achieved because the National Assembly shall not be properly constituted.

She said political violence is being used to intimidate women from attending campaign rallies and also portray them as a disgrace in the community.

Violence is still a major problem facing women seeking various political positions, Odede said.

Ms Odede said that most of the women are vying either as independent or with small parties that gave them direct nominations to contest in the August general election because political parties continue to discriminate women and have failed to afford them equity as spelt out in the constitution.

Various political parties did not take any steps towards affirmative action in fielding candidates, added Odede.

She further said that gender violence, political ignorance of women and hate speech is the most common form of violence among women who are campaigning.

She also appealed to the media to address women aspirant’s grievances because they do not have enough resources.

The women group advocated for credible investigations into all reported incidents of violence against women and girls relating to the elections.

They also called on the IEBC to act indiscriminately without fear of favor and ensure disclosure of information among others. They urged Kenyans to embrace peaceful elections and uphold each other’s right to political choice and opinion.

Source: Kenya News Agency