Kenya: Gender Commission blames parliament for not passing gender bill

AGORA moderator's picture

The National Gender and Equality Commission has hit back at the National Assembly for not passing the two-thirds gender bill.

Chairperson Winfred Lichuma says failure to pass the bill is bound to precipitate a constitutional crisis after the 2017 elections if one gender exceeds the two-thirds gender limit in the composition of the National Assembly and Senate.

In a press statement on Wednesday, Lichuma said time is of the essence in enacting the Bill pursuant to the Supreme Court of Kenya advisory opinion rendered in December 2012 and the subsequent extension of the deadline by Parliament to August 27, 2016.

“The National Assembly has the opportunity to implement the Constitution to guarantee gender equality and freedom from discrimination by passing this Bill,” she said.

The statement indicates the commission has observed the division of the National Assembly during the voting for the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) (No. 4) Bill of 2015.

This is a critical piece of legislation required to provide a framework for the realization of the not more than two-thirds gender principle in political representation in the National Assembly and Senate as spelled out in the Constitution of Kenya 2010, reads the statement.

The commission has however commended the Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Justin Muturi for directing that a revote of the Bill be done next week on Thursday May 5, 2016.