Speakers Wetangula, Kingi pledge to support push for gender rule

He, however, said that failure to fully implement the 2010 Constitution on gender representation was a major concern.

"As Speakers, we don't have a vote but we can use our influence and advice to make sure that the issue of the two-thirds gender rule is addressed," he said.

Mr Wetangula was speaking in Sawela Lodge in Naivasha, Thursday, after opening the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (Kewopa) induction workshop.

"We need to change the mindset of some men on this issue and we shall offer Kewopa the required support in all its operations," he said.

Senate Speaker Amason Kingi said that the number of elected women in Parliament was on the rise.

Mr Kingi noted that currently there are 102 women parliamentarians and 727 elected and nominated MCAs which was a major milestone in the country.

"We fully back Kewopa in its fight to achieve the two thirds gender rule which has been a thorn in the heel for years," he said.

The Senate Speaker said the last General Election haS proved that elective positions were no longer a preserve for men as earlier perceived.

Public Service and Gender Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa reiterated that the government was committed to achieving the two thirds gender rule.

The CS assured of President William Ruto's commitment to ensure the gender rule is enacted within one year.

Ms Jumwa termed women as their own enemies saying that in the 12th Parliament, the two thirds gender Bill failed to sail through due to lack of quoram in the National Assembly.

"There is political support in this process starting from the President and it's time for women leadership to support the process," she said.

The CS noted that the country has made major strides in elective positions with the number of women governors, senators and MPs on the rise.

She decried the rising cases of gender based violence within the family and community in the last couple of months.

"The Ministry is seeking more funding to support the anti-FGM board and also supplement the on-going provision of sanitary pads programme in public schools," she said.

Presidential advisor on Women's Rights Harriet Chiggai expressed optimism that the two-thirds gender rule would be achieved.

Ms Chiggai regretted that the law is yet to come into force despite concerted efforts from various parties in the past.

"Though we are yet to reach the set numbers in terms of women leadership, we are headed there as the President has the interest of women in his heart," she said.

She blamed retrogressive cultural beliefs for the low number of women leaders saying this would be addressed through more funding and civic education.

Kewopa Chairperson Gathoni Wamuchomba said the number of elected women was on the rise despite various challenges.

Wamuchomba who is the Githunguri MP noted that the number of newly elected women parliamentarians had risen from 23 in 2017 to 29 in 2022 with 47 defending their seats.

"Despite tens of challenges facing women in politics, we are happy that the numbers are on the rise as we have seven women governors," she said.