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Karua, women leaders lead two-thirds gender rule push

“Let our men stand up for their daughters, sisters, nieces, aunts, mothers wives and indeed all women close to your hearts.” This passionate call by Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua captured the push by women for the enactment of the two-thirds gender rule as they marked five years since the promulgation of the Constitution.

At a forum organised by Kenya Women Parliamentary Association at Kenyatta International Convention Centre yesterday, the participants backed the Two-Thirds Gender Rule Laws (amendment) Bill, 2015 by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, says if approved by Parliament, women will be the biggest winners because more of them will be elected into the National Assembly and Senate.

Karua said it is discriminatory and unconstitutional to deny women inclusion into political offices through the two-thirds gender rule. “Duale Bill seeks to offer an immediate solution to the current impasse,” she said.

The bill seeks to have additional women in leadership if the election does not meet the threshold. The proposed law will lapse 20 years after the date of the second General Election held under the Constitution.

Runyenje’s MP Cecil Mbarire and her Mbita counterpart Milly Odhiambo said to marshal 233 MPs to support the bill is an uphill task but pledged to continue lobbying to ensure it passes.

The women who turned up to give their views on the bills proposed towards the attainment of the gender rule, however, demanded the immediate withdrawal of a bill proposed by Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga who chairs the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.

They termed it “a broken promise” and an attempt to deny women their constitutional rights. Meanwhile, the referendum push by senators appears to have run into headwinds with legislators across the political divide at the crossroads on how to propel the drive bereft of their political affiliations.

Sources privy to a meeting bringing both Jubilee and Cord senators held yesterday told People Daily they (Jubilee) were stuck on how to approach the drive without appearing to support the Opposition.

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