President Uhuru Kenyatta has joined the overwhelming message dominating the mainstream media advocating for men and women to receive equal treatment. The speech by the President Obama which touched on issues like corruption, terrorism, national unity, youth and development, emphatically women and girl empowerment that have dogged Kenya in recent years is already making greater impact in Kenya as the President Uhuru encourages women to use their number to get seats in government.
After President Obama’s historic visit where he encouraged the promotion of Gender Equality in Kenya so that women will contribute actively to the economy of the nation, President Uhuru further encourages women to use their number to their advantage. President Uhuru Kenyatta also has supported women’s crave to have the two-thirds gender rule implemented.
He challenged women, who make up the largest part of the entire country’s population to use their numbers and voting power to make sure their voice is loud enough is to be heard in national affairs. This has sparked controversies particularly over constitutional requirement to have women have no less than a third of all elective posts. The President while speaking yesterday during a meeting of women leaders in Nairobi laid bare to the women that it is his obligation to protect the Constitution, including its provisions on gender equality. Quoting him:
The Constitution imposes a duty on the State to use legislative and other measures including affirmative action to realise gender equality,”
Gone, then, are the days when these issues could be taken lightly or glossed over. Gone are the days when empowering women was viewed as a favour to our women or an attempt to make us look good.”
He wondered why women cannot increase their representation when they form at least half of the voting population.
Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire, who is also the chair of the Kenya Women Parliamentarians, implored the President to join the two-thirds campaign by prevailing upon MPs in the Jubilee Alliance to vote for it.
Majority Leader Aden Duale has introduced the Two-Third Gender Laws (Amendment Bill) 2015 seeking to effect the constitutional principle. According to her:
We have been lobbying our male MPs to support the bill and adding your voice would help mobilise more support in Parliament,”
The conference brought together Gender and Women Affairs ministers from Africa. The meeting was meant to take stock of the progress made in empowering women in the last 30 years after the 1995 Beijing Plan of Action.
The President went further to reveal that Kenya has already set the pace for other African countries in gender employment including 25 per cent representation in Parliament and 31 per cent in Cabinet. Also present was Devolution and Planning, Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru.
We hope that the US President Barack who concluded his Kenyan trip at a sports arena in Nairobi on Sunday with a powerful speech that focused particularly on unfavorable and detrimental traditions that prevent girls and women from attaining their potential would be happy his educating and powerful speech is already having effects in Kenya.