Kenyans Friday joined the rest of the world to mark International Women’s Day. The theme of gender inequality dominated conversations at events to mark the day as well as on social media. Deputy President William Ruto said the government will not relent in its efforts to ensure the realisation of two-third gender rule.
Speaking in Nyeri, Ruto said the two-third gender rule is a constitutional requirement that must be met. Ruto said despite several unsuccessfully attempts to pass the gender bill in Parliament, he is confident it will eventually go through.
“It doesn’t matter how long it takes, this two-third gender rule will one day be a reality,” he said. He was speaking at Kamwenja Teachers Training College in Nyeri County during its 91st graduation ceremony.
Ruto said the government was committed to eliminating barriers that hinder the participation of women in leadership.
“I want to say on this International Women’s Day that the government will go out of its way to ensure that women get their rightful share of leadership positions,” he said.
In Machakos, Women Representative Joyce Kamene called on Kenyans to elect more women leaders whose input, she said, is vital for the realisation of Vision 2030.
“Nominations and Women Rep slots are not enough. We need to elect more women to Parliament,” said Kamene Several organisations held activities to mark the occasion.
The Nairobi Securities Exchange held a training session for women in top management and leadership positions while Kenya Commercial Bank changed its logo to a lioness in honour of women.
At Pumwani maternity hospital, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s wife, Primrose Mbuvi, visited the facility and made donations to mothers.
Women groups held a demonstration outside Parliament Buildings, Nairobi to protest the rise in cases of violence against women.
In Mombasa, women criticised the Judiciary, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions and the police for slowing the wheel of justice against victims of domestic violence.
The women, who marched from Saba Saba area to Nyali Bridge, said cases of domestic violence are on the rise despite efforts to tame the vice.
Likoni MP Mishi Mboko said despite the enactment of laws meant to protect people from gender-based violence, enforcement of the laws is wanting.
“The laws are not enforced even as women and children continue to suffer,” said Mboko.
Haki Africa programmes manager Wevyn Muganda blamed the power structures which, she said, favour men for the increase in cases of violence against women. “Violence against women has been normalised because of the power systems that favour men,” she said.