Nairobi, KENYA: Majority leader Aden Duale and minority leader John Mbadi are pushing for the passage of controversial 2/3 gender rule as National Assembly legal affairs committee warn of dire consequences if the bill is not passed.
Speaking at parliamentary buildings during the debate of the bill, Duale and Mbadi said that it is a constitutional commitment for the Parliament to pass the bill.
They said that there is need for gender question to be addressed in bid to uphold equality.
Mbadi said that passage of such bill will minimize discrimination not only to women but also to any gender which is a minority.
He warned that 51 percent of the population in the country are women and if they will not clinch as many seats as possible the country might stagnate.
The duo also downplayed assertion that the push of the bill might bulge wage bill adding that sh.350 million required is affordable.
National Assembly Legal Affairs Committee chair William Cheptumo warned of dire consequences if that constitutional amendment bill is not passed, as the house risks being dissolved.
He said that 52 percent of Kenyans who were engaged with the committee backed the bill.
According to the Constitution, not more than two-thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender.
Currently in the National Assembly, there are 76 women – 23 elected, 47 woman representatives and six nominated.
This means it falls short by 41 women to make a third which is 117 of the 349 MPs.
In the Senate there are 21 women – three elected members and 19 nominated – bringing the shortfall to 12.
This means that if the top-up was to be done in the current Parliament, 53 more women would be nominated to Parliament.