Residents of Uasin Gishu County have pledged their support for the implementation of the Not More Than Two-Thirds Gender Principle in appointive, nominative, and elective positions acrossall sectors of leadership in the country.
The members of the public submitted their views during the public participation forum in Eldoret by the Multi-Sectoral Working Group (MSWG) on the realization of the not more than two-thirds gender principle in Kenya.
Speaking during the public forum, the Team Leader for MSWG in Uasin Gishu Stella Ruto pointed out that their aim was to gather the general views of the people, various groups, and stakeholders including local leaders who had been invited for public participation.
She urged the public to embrace gender inclusivity in all appointments, nominative and elective positions across all sectors noting that they have been underrepresented for the last 13 years since the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
She further clarified to the public that the issue of gender is not only for women but touched on both men and women and that it was for posterity.
The Team Leader indicated that apart from public participation, they had also done stakeholder engagement in Nairobi with many groups like the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) who presented their proposals on what needed to be corrected in the Constitution because it is the supreme law of the land which must be upheld.
“Every gender issue should be considered to see that not more than 2/3 representation of one gender in elective, appointive, and nominative positions. All political parties should adhere to the rule of not more than two-thirds gender principle,” she said.
Ms Ruto commended the members of the public, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders including Members of the County Assembly for giving their views supporting the implementation of the 2/3 gender principle.
“I assure you that your views will be taken into consideration and our report which we will compile from the all areas at end of this public participation will go up to Parliament and we believe that the Members of Parliament will help us pass this bill once and for all,” added Ms Ruto.
She mentioned that what has failed the implementation of the principle was lack of enactment in Parliament to be able to realize this 2/3 gender principle and that the biggest challenge in the past has been lack of political good will from political parties.
She hoped that political parties in the new government would demonstrate political good will and at the same time the Parliamentarians would actually help to hasten the issue.
“For the elective posts, we would actually wish to see many women being elected and nominated by various political parties without discrimination because it is them who can help in implementing this 2/3 gender principle,” she said.
She explained that the Office of Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) plays a crucial role in achieving the 2/3 gender principle by putting proper regulations in place to make sure that any party’s nomination list is inclusive of women.
She added that women had cited so many challenges in terms of being nominated to take charge of parties which makes them unable to make it into the general elections.
On her part, Nandi MCA Milcah Chumba Jerobon who represented local leaders in the forum acknowledged that the not more than two-thirds gender principle is not fully embraced due to societal misconceptions and beliefs that underrate the role of a woman in society.
“What I have seen with the 2/3 gender rule is; that in 2013, there were six females elected in Nandi County but in 2022 the number dropped to three. We want to know what is wrong. Why did the number drop? We know we are the weaker gender but we are struggling to achieve our goal,” said the MCA.
The MCA who was elected once in 2017 and nominated in 2022 added that they faced unfairness during party nominations where male candidates were preferred by the society over them.
She suggested that party nominations should be manned by IEBC for female aspirants to experience fairness in the party’s candidature.
“We don’t have money for campaigns and the biggest challenge is culture. People despise women when aspiring for political seats, deriving their stand from the general societal belief that women are weak and cannot make good leaders. That they are only meant to undertake domestic roles. This undermines the achievement of the 2/3 gender principle,” explained MCA Chumba.
In his remarks, Wilson Maiyo who spoke on behalf of the retirees, said that much has to be done to see the not more than two-thirds gender principle being followed.
He suggested that the government should come up with proper regulations to ensure each post from the presidency to the lower level is taken up by each gender for example if the president is male, the deputy should be female and vice versa.
Those present reiterated the need for sensitizing the whole public, especially at the societal level on the significant role the female leaders could perform in service delivery so as to demystify the gender stereotyping ideas which lower the dignity of women in society, placing them at the lower end as submissive beings to their husbands whose role is only domestically centered like raising children and routine house chores.
By Ekuwam Sylvester and Abigael Cherono