Uhuru and Raila paid lip service to two thirds gender bill, Kandara MP Alice Wahome says
Kandara MP Alice Wahome has turned the heat on President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga saying they paid lip service to calls for supporting the two thirds gender bill.
According to the vocal lawmaker, women leaders approached the duo on different occasions, urging them to support the bill but their plea fell on deaf ears.
“When Duale took up the bill in 2019 it was expected that the government would push for it to sail through. Raila also told us not to worry that he would support us,” she said.
The Kandara MP was speaking during a meeting with Women Caucus members of the Nairobi County Assembly, a continuation of the #WomenMustLead Policy Dialogues.
The first #WomenMustLead meeting had seen Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua, Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo, Kiambu Woman Rep Gathoni Wa Muchomba and Crawn Trust Kenya CEO Daisy Amdany express their exasperation over violations and systems that discourage female participation in politics.
They highlighted the fact that despite it being 10 years since the promulgation of the new constitution, the three arms of government were yet to comply with the two thirds gender principle.
On Thursday, during the second forum, MP Wahome reiterated her support for the Chief Justice on his advisory to dissolve Parliament over its failure to enact legislation required to implement the two-thirds gender rule.
According to her, the CJ had no other alternative and if the President obliges, the only disruption Kenyans should anticipate is having no Parliament for three months.
“It is for national interest. We cannot compromise inclusivity – it’s not about money! It’s about fairness, inclusivity, and having women in the decision making positions,” she said.
Female MCAs from across the political divide reiterated these sentiments saying women must push the assembly and political parties structures for equal and meaningful representation.
Nominated MCA Doris Kanario insisted that the push for the two thirds gender rule should continue until it is implemented as per the Constitution.
Kanario who is also Chairperson of the Women Caucus called for solidarity saying: “There is every opportunity to push for policies that support women. We have no excuse about the two thirds gender rule. We have to continue pushing for it. We cannot stop!” she said.
She further challenged her counterparts to think about forming a women’s party and how to get more women to vie for top seats in the country.
On her part, Waithera Chege (MCA, Nairobi South B Ward) echoed the need for female MCAs to unite saying there has been a lot of fighting in the last one year.
“We need to unite women of the Nairobi County Assembly. Women leaders should work together irrespective of their party affiliations,” she said.
Memory Kachambwa, the Executive Director of FEMNET, noted that patriarchy has made women believe that the political arena is crowded.
“”Let us work to protect the women who are already in leadership positions. There is so much space. Get more women in politics,” she said.