Lion Place Nairobi, Kenya; July,31,2019.
An advocacy group, Community Advocacy and Awareness (CRAWN) Trust has called on women to re-energize the agitation for full implementation of the two-third gender principle as it is currently fashioned in the Constitution of Kenya. The many years of the past struggle characterized, by polarity among key players involved in different stages was cited key reason not to relent. This formed part of the deliberations of the Trust’s organized National Consultative Forum among different players in the electoral process held on the 31 st July 2019 in Nairobi.
The Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) being a key player, made its position known on the matter. A raft of legislative and alternative measures that the Office had progressively realized was outlined. Speaking a key panelist during the forum, the Registrar Ms. Ann Nderitu called for a continued concerted effort from all parties including the electorates to realize the thorny rule. “Cognizant of the socio-cultural dynamics of this principle, it is time for all players in the electoral space to explore other alternativesto complement the legislation efforts made. For instance, we need support mechanisms including financial, for women who had courage venture into murky field of politics but were unsuccessfully in elective positions, map out and bring them back on board”, the Registrar advised. She further noted the ORPP’s strive in ensuring there are women in the National Executive Councils of political parties as one of its deliberate effort to marshal up the required women numbers. Further, urging on women to play their part in building their own capacity to competitively qualify for the positions, citing soft attributes such as negotiating skills a critical one.
Registrar of Political Parties Ann Nderitu (left) makes her submission as a lead panelist during the meeting at the
Crowne Plaza, Nairobi. Other panel members were: Ms. Daisy Amdany (middle), Executive Director CRAWN Trust and
Ms. Emmaculate Kassait, Director Voter Education, Partnerships and Communication at IEBC
Participants were of the consenting view for women to support one another and consolidate working strategies, formulate grassroots advocacy campaigns with a view of arriving at a common ground to push the agenda forward. The debate of whether or not the gender rule be a question for plebiscite amendment also played out in the animated discussions, with most proposing stay of the status quo. “Our mark in this space is to make sure there is a political cost whenever we are sidelined, since at the ‘political table’ is where far and binding decisions for the entire country are made. Special interest groups should be represented on this table”, passionately implored Ms. Daisy Amdany, the CRAWN Executive Director. A call, corroborated by her colleague Stella Agara, noting of the need for a women friendly pieces of legislation, sensitive to issues of
women, key to delivering the representation agenda. Ms. Brenda Isabel of the Electoral Law and Governance Institute for Africa (ELGIA), a continental agency supporting the forum, further noting for the need for a strategic civic education to create awareness on the subject.
Participants follow proceedings during the National Consultative Forum
A joint position paper to be presented to the Building the Bridges Initiative (BBI) was developed as part of the outcome of the day’s deliberations. Participating institutions included Independent Electoral and boundaries Commission (IEBC), National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEK), Federation of Wowen Lawyers (FIDA), Katiba Institute and various women support outfits from various parts of the country.