ODM leader Raila Odinga has said the party will adhere to the two-thirds gender rule when it comes to elective posts. Speaking at the meeting with ODM women aspirants in Multimedia University, Nairobi, the opposition leader said that the rule has been ignored under the current administration and that ODM will not tolerate the same. “We realize that we have a constitutional obligation to help our country realize the two-thirds gender rule,” he said. “Women currently have only a 20 percent representation in parliament, and 33 percent in County assemblies. Out of 1450 seats in the County assemblies, only 80 women were elected when the rest were nominated,” said Raila Odinga, adding that no woman was elected to the Senate or the gubernatorial position.
The NASA co-principal said the 2013 general election didn’t meet the gender threshold, “This is a dismal record ODM doesn’t want to be associated with after the elections,” he said. The party leader said that they have set up a women candidates coordination office to manage all activities geared towards getting women elected. Such activities include developing and maintaining a database of women aspirants and acting as a resource centre and one stop shop that women aspirants may require.
He said that the party is committed to working with women, to ensure they have the highest number of women elected. “As a key member of NASA, ODM fully subscribes to the third pillar of the coalition principles, which is the realization of equality of women, youth, persons with disabilities and the disadvantaged communities as mandated by the constitution in Article 27,” he added.
The ODM leader said the party is prioritizing free, fair and peaceful party nominations and the general elections later this year. “We have issued firm instructions to the National Election Board that the party shouldn’t tolerate any violence, intimidation, and fraud during nominations,” he said. He added that he has mandated the NEB to take firm action, including disqualification, against any interfering party aspirant.