Women leaders now push for equal representation in government

Women leaders are calling for an equal split in the sharing of elective positions.

The leaders who spoke during a forum held to discuss the building bridges initiative report are now pushing for the development of a draft bill that will ensure 50:50 representations of both genders in elective positions as well as the upholding of the two-thirds majority rule in appointive positions.

The leaders are proposing that the president, if male, should be deputized by a woman and vice versa.

The launch of the building bridges initiative report at the Bomas of Kenya in late November has since sparked off wide-ranging views, with the distribution of political power being one of the running themes of the debate.

And now, women leaders are weighing in with a new push for equitable gender representation that has now shifted from the two-thirds gender rule to that of equal representation in elective positions.

This coming against the backdrop of a series of failed attempts to ensure that women occupy at least one-third of elective positions, as envisaged in the Constitution of Kenya (2010). 

Martha Karua the party leader, NARC Kenya said when it comes to moving forward we would like to see a male president deputized by a woman she added that he BBI proposes the position of Prime Minister.

She said this is a powerful post that if the president is a man, the position should automatically go to a woman and vice versa.

Equally, for speaker position, which is the most third powerful position in the country, we would like to see one of the two speakers of either house being a woman.

Besides the sharing of political positions, women leaders are championing for further socio-economic inclusivity that would provide equal opportunities to both men and women.

Professor Margaret Kobia, the Cabinet Secretary, Public Service, Youth, and Gender said that they were calling for equal opportunity and inclusion both socially and economically.

When this happens they see gains in the education sector, which means more girls will be in school, health improvement in reproductive health, obstetrical care and hence low mortality rate for mothers and children

But Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju, who was the only man who was invited to attend the women’s forum, took a swipe at women for being too diplomatic in their quest for involvement in the country’s politics.

Raphael Tuju said that women must quit asking politely as it has not worked for them so clearly it will not work in the future. He said that It’s the time women learn how to negotiate and negotiate aggressively in their favor and to go forth and take what they want.

He added that he wanted to see women act with the same audacity that men do. That is the only way to make headway.

At the same time, women have called for the recognition of sexual and gender-based violence as a national security concern that should be addressed by the National Security Council.

The proposal comes at a time when reported cases of domestic violence against women and children are on an apparent increase in the country.

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