18 May 2017

Kenya: Uplift Justice for Women

editorial

While the Constitution guarantees equal rights to all Kenyans, the reality is a stark contrast to that.

Women have traditionally been discriminated against in all spheres of life, playing a minimal role in almost all the decision making organs in our society.

But the most blatant bias is in elective leadership positions where women's participation is miniscule.

JUSTICE

And it does not end there. In the justice delivery system, women continue to get the short end of the stick.

Judges are concerned that women continue to lag behind in seeking justice for themselves and that there are no mechanisms to enable them to do so.

Indeed, Judiciary Chief Registrar Anne Amadi says that women often give up pursuit of justice for themselves to attend to their families' immediate needs.

It is going to take a lot of effort and hard work to redress the situation.

GENDER RULE

The failure to pass the two-thirds gender rule to guarantee women a fair share of public appointments is part of the challenge.

This law would have ensured that not more than two-thirds of the members of all elective public bodies shall be of the same gender.

This would redress the ubiquitous bias.

A system that shuts out or denigrates the contributions of the majority of the population, just over 50 per cent, can never be just.

The struggle for women's rights must be stepped up to realise what is also constitutional.

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