KENYA: Use Ballot to Effect Gender Parity, President Tells Women

NAIROBI, AUGUST 14, 2015(CISA)-President Uhuru Kenyatta has advised women to help correct the gender imbalance in elective office by voting in fellow women.

“You have the ability and power to effect gender equality in the country’s leadership through the ballot,” he said.

Speaking on August 13 at a women’s conference at the Kenyatta International Conference centre (KICC) in Nairobi, President Kenyatta said that everyone has a role to play in ensuring that women are empowered and fully involved in the development of the nation.

In the conference organized by UN Women- a United Nations Entity For Gender Equality and empowerment of Women and the ministry of Devolution and planning, the President noted that it is no longer an option to include women in development who make up more than half of the voters in Kenya.

He affirmed his commitment to do his part to help in implementation of the two-thirds gender rule.

“As President, it is my obligation to protect the constitution of Kenya. That means defending among others the provisions on gender equality,” he said.

The president noted that strides have been made to ensure women get leadership posts, but more needs to be done. “We are not there yet,” he said.

Recently an amendment bill seeking to effect the two-thirds gender rule was introduced in parliament.

Speaking during the same function, Chairlady of the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association Cecily Mbarire asked the President to help in its implementation by encouraging the male members of parliament to vote for it.

The two-thirds gender rule states that there should not be more that two thirds of either gender holding elective office.

She noted the necessity of empowering women who provide the highest percentage of labour in the agricultural sector, which the nation’s economy highly relies on.

“Women empowerment is no longer an alternative but a mandate,” she said.

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