Speakers oppose gender parity law

Women have to battle it out with men for elective seats if Kenya is to achieve the two-thirds gender law, a court has been told.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and his Senate counterpart Ekwee Ethuro argued the gender legislation was impractical.

In submissions filed before the Court of Appeal, they argued that women have to marshal support for elective positions to shore up their representation in both Houses.

“It is not possible for legislation to be enacted to give effect to the two-third gender rule in any other manner than that of encouraging and facilitating both genders to participate in and vie for electoral positions,” they said.

The two also shifted the blame on the failure to enact the gender law to MPs and senators.

Despite being sued several times, Parliament has remained defiant.

MPs were first given 40 days by Justice Mumbi Ngugi to enact the law but they did not.

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The High Court gave the Attorney General and the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution 40 days to prepare and table the two-thirds gender rule Bill before Parliament.

Another 60-day ultimatum was issued by High Court judge John Mativo to pass that law. It lapsed on June 30.

The judge said both Senate and National Assembly were at risk of being dissolved if they failed to obey his orders.

The rule states not more than two-thirds of members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender. 

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