The Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Youth, and Gender Affairs, Sicily Kariuki has supported the constitutional amendment bill on the two-thirds gender principle, in a media breakfast hosted in Nairobi that was graced by the Attorney General Prof.Githu Muigai.
The bill meant to balance the composition of elective offices in Kenya to ensure there is equity in the government by not allowing one gender to hold more than two-thirds of elective positions was brought before the parliament on May 5th but was rejected.
The bill requires all the 349 members of the national assembly to be present but only 199 were present of which only 178 voted yes.
The CS attributed this rejection to the perception of it being ‘women-centric’ as opposed to ‘gender-centric’, lack of engagement with the media in the run-up to the voting day, poor attendance in the National Assembly on the voting day, and an external interference which was perceived as a confrontational bullish approach that in the end undermined the efforts.
Although Kenya has made significant progress in advancing women’s participation in holding elective office and positions in both the private and the public sector it is yet to attain the full gender equality.
Some of the notable progress that has been made by the women in politics through legislative enactment include Marriage Act, Sexual Offences Act, and The Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, 2011.
The Attorney General did mention, “I am cautiously optimistic that it will sail through.”
The meeting that was dubbed “The Election Strategy” aims at having more women to come out and vie for elective posts as well as increase the number of women in political leadership.
The CS also urged all other ministries as well as the media to ensure the mainstreaming of gender in all policies and programmes.
CS emphasized that supporting the two third gender principle “Is not just the right thing to do but the smart thing to do.”