Take gender bill dispute to citizens, leaders say

Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka

Women leaders have called for a referendum on the controversial two-thirds gender rule. Led by Gender ministry Chief Administrative Secretary Rachel Shebesh and chair of Kenya Women Parliamentarians (Kewopa) Purity Ngirichi, they said efforts to have the bill passed had failed.

“We are tired of begging Parliament to pass this bill. We must guarantee women seats through a referendum,” Shebesh told women leaders in the legislative conference ongoing in Kisumu.

Bill flopped

The CAS was flanked by MPs Rosa Buyu (Kisumu Woman Rep), Dennitah Ghati (Nominated) and nominated Senators Mercy Chebeni, Mary Seneta, and Alice Milgo.

In February, the gender parity bill flopped for the fourth time in the  National Assembly due to lack of quorum when only 174 out of the 233 MPs required to vote turned up.

This despite President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga appealing to their party members to back the bill.

The Bill was supposed to have been enacted within the first five years after the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution.

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