Centre for Multiparty Democracy advocate for gender equity during party nominations

Centre for Multi-Party Democracy chairman Omingo Magara. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Nairobi, KENYA: The Centre for Multiparty Democracy has called for the mainstreaming of gender issues especially during party primaries to ensure gender balance.

Speaking in Nairobi on Tuesday, Chairman Omingo Magara cautioned that the next Parliament risks being unconstitutional if the two thirds gender rule is not achieved.

“Giving women their voice is a human rights issue. Kenya still lags behind when it comes to implementing gender parity issues . Representation of women in leadership still remains wanting whether in competitive or
appointed seats,” Mr. Magara noted.

Commissioner Catherine Mumma warned political party leaders against favouring male contestants at the expense of deserving women candidates during nominations.

“Party primaries must be fair and each party should follow due guidance when contestants are up for nomination. This will ensure the right leaders are chosen,” she remarked.

“IEBC, if Parliament removes a clause you think is necessary you can challenge that in court. Like if it is a clause to enable the country to obey the not more than two thirds gender rule, and it is removed, yet the
Constitution demands of it, then it will be possible to get the clause reinstated through court action,” Martha Karua, Gubernatorial aspirant Kirinyaga County, advised.

The speakers spoke at an event in Nairobi during the launch of Political Parties’ Strategy on Gender Equality in Candidates’ Nomination in Kenya; a document that was signed by various political parties in the country.

The document was meant to serve as a guideline on the good practices Kenya must follow to achieve the gender parity rule.

This comes as some of the female contestants vying for top political seats in the country have expressed victimization because of their gender, Nominated Senator Emma Mbura being one of them.