Habiba Mohamed, Concerned Women of Kenya photo:courtesy
Two women’s organisations have given notice that they will block the swearing in of the next parliament until it meets the two-thirds gender rule.
Article 81 of the Constitution demands that not more than two-thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender.
Concerned Women of Kenya (CWK) and Coffey International said current Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) statistics indicated that the threshold would not be met in relation to women.
Several attempts to enact the necessary statute in the tenth Parliament failed.
“The statistics confirm that the one-third minimum shall not be achieved, and the National Assembly shall not be properly constituted.
In the absence of proper action, we shall move to court to get orders blocking the swearing in of the next parliament until it meets the constitutional requirement,” said Phoebe Asiyo, a veteran in politics and one of the leaders of the groups.
Dr Asiyo said IEBC statistics showed only 140 women were vying for the various political posts against 2,367 men in the August elections.
Roseline Odede, vice chairperson of the Concerned Women of Kenya, said more cases of violence against women continued to be witnessed in the ongoing campaigns and demanded action against the perpetrators.
“Systematic violence, particularly on social media, tailored to erode the integrity of women aspirants has been orchestrated to intimidate them contesting for various political posts,” said Ms Odede.