Kenyan women have demanded for proportional representation in the Building Bridges Initiative saying that the 2/3 gender rule as envisaged in the constitution is yet to be fully realized.
According to the team leader of the Women Common Agenda, Priscilla Nyokabi the opposite gender rule representation is inactive with women still being left out in promotional representation in the government.
Speaking on Thursday during a validation engagement forum held in Nairobi, Nyokabi said that women want equal leadership opportunities across all levels even in the national government to mainstream women and the minority groups within the same electoral system.
“If the President is a man, the Deputy President should automatically be a woman, if the speaker is a male the deputy speaker should be of the opposite gender,” said Nyokabi.
Josephine Sinyo, a representative of the persons with disabilities, said that in as much as they support the BBI, representation of people with disabilities is wanting in most counties with some having zero representation.
“We need to strengthen the voice of the women living with disabilities in leadership and governance to enhance assertive policy and decision making in all sectors and be productive members of this country,” said Sinyo.
She also recommended that the initiative implement policy and registration measures to provide food, equal health services, land and market for women adding that the devolved funding be increased from 45 percent to 50 percent of the previous year budget.
The president of the Women in Business Mary Muthoni urged that the initiative should also raise the profile of entrepreneurial women in Kenya. She said the establishment of national volunteers’ network should not only be instrumental at the government level but also have collaborations with the private sectors.
“Women should be given focus in innovations and incubation opportunities as they form the bulk population of Kenya and provide the biggest opportunity for expanding tax base and help them grow from micro and small enterprises,” said Muthoni.
By Hellen Mwangi and Alice GWORO