Statement on Two Thirds Gender Bill
The National Gender and Equality Commission has observed the Division of the House on Thursday May 5, 2016 on the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) (No. 4) Bill of 2015 and wishes to state the following:
- The failure to pass the Bill by the National Assembly is unfortunate as it rolls back the gains made to implement the Constitution of Kenya 2010 in compliance with the not more than two third gender principle. It is a betrayal to the people of Kenya for it continues to entrench systematic political marginalization of more than half of the country’s population.
- By failing to pass the Bill, The National Assembly has essentially abdicated its role in providing a framework for the realization of the not more than two thirds gender principle as advised by the Supreme Court of Kenya in December 2012.
- The country now faces the real prospect of sinking into an unprecedented Constitutional crisis next year should the number of elected Members in the National Assembly and Senate fail to meet the minimum gender threshold.
- The country still does not have a framework to enforce compliance with the not more than two thirds gender principle and the deadline of August 27, 2016 is fast approaching. The upshot of this is that the matter is subject to legal interpretation. The Commission will be exploring possible ways out of the impasse.
In the meantime, we urge Kenyans to remain steadfast in protecting the gains under the Constitution and demanding accountability from their elected leaders. We sincerely thank the Members who voted for the Bill and all our partners who contributed immensely to the development of this framework.
WINFRED O. LICHUMA E.B.S