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Women leaders endorse proposals

By Anyango Otieno | October 24th 2020

Women leaders have thrown their weight behind the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) constitutional change proposals saying they advocate for the two-thirds-gender rule.

Led by Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu the leaders said the proposals set the stage to advance gender constitutional gains the country made since independence.

The report proposes that holders of governor and deputy governor positions be of the opposite gender with the latter assigned a portfolio.

Political parties will also be bound to provide the IEBC with a list of candidates that is two-thirds-gender compliant and further providing for inclusion of persons with disabilities if the report is adopted.

The leaders promised to read, review and analyze the report and urge fellow women to join in the Tusome Initiative- a civic education drive to make sure Kenyans understand the report.

“With 35 per cent of the country’s revenue going to the counties, we now need to push 35 per cent of it to go to programmes and projects that affect women such as water, food and health,” said Ngilu.

Other notable women in the meeting in Nairobi yesterday were Maendeleo ya Wanawake National Chairperson, Rahab Mwikali, Echo Network Africa CEO Dr Jennifer Riria, Nominated Senator Gertrude Musuruve and Priscilla Nyokabi Commissioner at National Gender Equality Commission.

Gender issues

Mwikali noted that women of Kenya are expecting the BBI process to bring a close to some of unresolved gender issues starting with the full implementation of the gender principle.

Dr Riria said that for an inclusive nation, the BBI process should not only focus on building ethnic bridges, but gender bridges also.

“The BBI process marks an important reflection point in the history of our country and we must seize the opportunity to secure a bright future for the next generation,” said Riria.

The leaders, however, noted that the proposals were silent on the application of the gender rule in the proposed executive.

“We implore that in the proposed executive adheres to the two-thirds-gender rule,” said a representative of civil societies.

They promised to champion for translation of the report in Swahili language so that the message in it could easily reach women of humble backgrounds.

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