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No short-cut to gender equality, says Uhuru

By Kamau Muthoni | Updated Fri, May 19th 2017 at 13:31 GMT +3
President Uhuru Kenyatta poses for a photo with pupils of Change Primary School during the Women Judges conference in Nairobi. The President applauded the Judiciary as the most improved institution in terms of gender equality. [Beverlyne Musili, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged the Judiciary to push the political class to pass the two-thirds gender rule.

The President, who spoke during the International Women Judges Association conference, said courts need to ensure those who get into elective positions have the woman equality and development agenda as key pillars for the next five years.

“You also have a role in the next general election to ensure that those who are elected put these issues at the centre. That is a responsibility you have, you must pursue it, you must encourage and you must tell people that they need to vote those who cherish these ideas,” he said. He noted that the Judiciary is the only institution that had tried to achieve gender equality.

The President, however, expressed doubt on the possibility of lawmakers coming together to ensure that women get at least one third of the elective seats.

“I urge the Legislature and indeed the political class to engage with the nation particularly in terms of genderrepresentation and the two-thirds gender rule,” he said.

The President noted that justice has not been done for women as they are underrepresented in the august House and other areas.

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“We cannot progress if half of the population is still underprivileged,” he said.

He said that the only way Kenya would fully achieve its goals is by ensuring that both men and women have equal chances of thriving, be it in leadership, business or in education.

“I congratulate the Judiciary for being among the most improved institutions in terms of ratio between men and women...,” he said.

He added: “We must have women as equal partners in leading and governing ourselves. Women and girls must have the same opportunity and protection as men and boys. Economic freedom must know no gender. We are headed in that direction and I am proud to lead in this regard.”

Speaking at the same event, Chief Justice David Maraga said that women working in the Judiciary almost tally with the number of men. He said that out of the 4,326 Judiciary employees, 2,032 are women.

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