Justice John Mativo has directed Parliament and the Attorney General to enact the two-thirds gender rule in 60 days.
In a landmark ruling delivered earlier today, Justice Mativo said that the National assembly and the senate have failed to enact legislation to ensure gender equality and have failed and abdicated their constitutional mandate.
Justice Mativo further stated that Failure to pass Two-Thirds Gender Bill is a gross violation of the Constitution
“Failure by parliament to comply with article 27 (6) and Article 81 (b) amounts to serious violations of women’s rights,” he said.
The ruling further states that if parliament fails to enact the two-thirds gender rule, the petitioner or any other person can petition the high court under article 23 (1) to have the chief justice advise the president to dissolve parliament.
The two-thirds gender rule debate has failed in Parliament five times. Last year, the National Assembly failed to pass the two-thirds gender rule bill on two occasions
Kenya’s Two-Thirds Gender Rule Quagmire
The Constitution of Kenya 2010 recognizes women, youth, persons with disabilities and ethnic minorities as special groups deserving of constitutional protection with Article 81 (b) stating that “not more than two-thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender”. Article 27 goes further to obligate the government to develop and pass policies and laws, including affirmative action programs and policies to address the past discrimination that women have faced.
Kenya is still trailing her partners in the East African Community in empowering women in politics. According to The 2015 Global Gender Gap Report released in July last year, Tanzania was ranked position 32 in women empowerment politically, with 36 per cent women and 64 percent men in parliament; 32 per cent women in ministerial positions and 68 per cent men.
Uganda was ranked position 36 out of 142 countries, with 35 per cent women in parliament and 65 per cent men; and 30 per cent of women in ministerial positions and 70 per cent men while Kenya was no 62 out of 148 countries surveyed.