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Cecile Mbarire

Female members of parliament have opted to draft their own Bill on the two-thirds gender rule, in order to counter similar Bills that have been tabled in the National Assembly by the Justice and Legal Affairs committee and another currently under review by the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution.

The Bill seeks to propose for an increment of the number of elected Woman Representatives to two per county. It also recommends that political parties be compelled to nominate a specified number of women as candidates for elective seats.

“The way forward is to see how to increase from 47 to the number that is stipulated in the Constitution. So, we will be looking at the difference required to achieve the 30 percent… then we would have to go into a party list, but through an election as provided for by the IEBC. The other proposal is to have two Woman Reps per county and should there be a gap, the number can be filled through a nomination in accordance with Article 92,” Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire said.


Early this week, Kenya Women Parliamentarians (KEWOPA) asked the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee to withdraw the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) 2015 Bill proposing the progressive implementation of the two thirds gender rule.

The National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee has tabled a Bill to amend the Constitution and push the deadline for an implementation framework, from August this year to an indefinite date.

Led by KEWOPA chairperson Cecily Mbarire (Runyenjes), the MPs decried the move by committee chairman Samuel Chepkong’a to disregard proposals by fellow members and instead doctored the Bill to insert the progressive option which deletes the five-year deadline to implement the two third gender rule.

“We ask Chepkong’a to immediately withdraw the Bill from the floor of the House. We don’t think this is kind for the women of Kenya. There should be consultation on how we can achieve the two-thirds gender rule,” said Mbarire.

“We are going to remove our gloves and fight for the rights of women in this country. We got them painstakingly; we must defend them without fear or favour. As women we are coming out strongly on this matter,” she added.


The female MPs have also condemned the national assembly speaker Justin Muturi for proposing that the women representative and nominated seats be scrapped off.

Nairobi Woman Representative Rachel Shebesh said it was unrealistic for the Speaker to propose to go for a referendum to ask Kenyans to ‘scrap’ the nominated and Woman Rep seats yet they had before voted for it.

“A Speaker is does not debate, neither does he vote; we ask him to maintain a neutral arbiters demeanour and not to add to a debate that has already taken controversial tones,” said Nyeri Woman Representative Priscilla Nyokabi.

In his proposal, Muturi suggested that the women representative and the nominated MPs seats be replaced with 100 affirmative seats in order to resolve the two-third gender rule.

“There will be 25 nominated slots in the Senate, giving it a total of 72 thereby dealing with the issue of the two third gender rule in the Senate. In the National Assembly, there will be 100 slots bringing the total number of legislators to 390,” he said in his proposal.

The Speaker said the proposal would increase members in both Houses by 46 and it is bound to bring about the debate on the wage Bill. The Speaker urged Kenyans to make the sacrifice for the sake of empowering women and accept the proposed changes.


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