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Economy

Uhuru says gender equity possible if more women vote

President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked women to use their numbers and voting power to realise gender equity even as MPs push for a Bill advocating for gradual equalisation in representation.

“The Constitution imposes a duty on the State to use legislative and other measures, including affirmative action, to realise gender equality,” said President Kenyatta during the opening of the Nairobi +30 conference.

Inclusion of women in the August House has been slow with MPs publicly clashing on the matter.

Female MPs are up in arms fighting a Bill pushing for the postponement of the implementation of the gender rule.

The Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill, 2015, seeks to provide for the progressive realisation of the affirmative action Articles in the Constitution, including the legislation to ensure not more than two-thirds of either gender is elected.

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The President who also launched the two-thirds gender principle campaign to ensure gender equity said that women’s representation in Parliament had risen from 9.9 to 25 per cent compared to previous terms.

“Women now hold major leadership positions right across this continent. That advance has been matched by unprecedented economic empowerment,” said Mr Kenyatta.

A Commonwealth report shows that Kenya trails its neighbours in the share of women in Cabinet, parastatal directorships and top civil service jobs.

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