22 January 2013

Kenya: Gender Rule Makes Women Complacent - Official

Nairobi — The chairperson of the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) Winnie Lichuma says the position of women's representative is a hindrance to the emancipation of women.

She is accusing Kenyan women of only fighting it out among themselves and failing to take on the men for other positions of governance.

"In all the regions that were monitored women got nomination for seats set aside only for women rep [representatives] while the other slots off course were dominated by men."

"(This is) a trend that is worrying for us as a commission. It appears we might not be able to realise the two-thirds gender principle."

Article 97 of the Constitution provides that 47 seats be set aside in the National Assembly for women representatives from each county as they are classified as a vulnerable group.

She said a recent court ruling that -Article 175 (c) which provides, "no more than two-thirds of the members of representative bodies in each county government shall be of the same gender," be instituted progressively- created even more need for women to battle it out with men in the political arena.

Cultural beliefs, Lichuma added, were another impediment to the realisation of gender equality in positions of governance, "In Wajir County, there was no election since the community had endorsed aspirants for the various elective seats."

"No female aspirant was endorsed outside the county women representative category despite offering their candidature."

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