Kenyan women demand top jobs

August 24, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24 – The Federation of Women Lawyers, Kenya (FIDA) now wants the office of the Attorney General, the Chief Justice and the Director of Public Prosecutions occupied by women.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, FIDA Chairperson Naomi Wagereka said time had come for Kenyans to embrace and give chance to women leadership.

The lobby group had earlier indicated that it would forward 15 to 20 names of women it felt qualified to be appointed for the slots created in the Judiciary.

"We actually fought for this Constitution so that we can change the way things have been done in the past so what we would want to see is a change. We have had men at the top of these positions for so long and there have been complaints from the citizens of this country; so we want women to take up these positions so that they can bring in fresh ideas," she said.

Capital News reliably established that some of the nominees included: Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) Chairperson Florence Jaoko, Chief Executive Officer of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) Patricia Nyaundi, KNCHR Commissioner Winnie Lichuma among others.

The other FIDA nominees are: Dr Elizabeth Muli head of the Moi University Law Department, Jane Onyango, Muthoni Gichohi, Njeri Kariuki, Joyce Majiwa and Jedidah Wakonyo.

Further, Ms Wagereka argued that men and women were equal before the new laws: "We are not saying that we are better than men but let us see qualified and competent women occupy the newly created spaces."
FIDA also urged women not to shy away from the leadership opportunities presented by the new Constitution.

"Come out, give your applications and do whatever is necessary to make sure that you get these positions. We want to see 50 percent women representation in all these commissions because even when we look at the statistics of this country, women represent 52-53 percent of the population," she said.

The lobby group also asked the government to continue conducting civic education at the grassroots so as to help Kenyans know of the opportunities created by the new Constitution.  Ms Wagereka added that civic education be envisaged in the implementation phase of the new Constitution.

"Because so long as people are out there in the counties not knowing that these positions are coming up and what they have to do, they will be left out or we would have the same old story of picking up cronies of political party leaders occupying these positions," she said.

FIDA also said that it would ensure gender equality was maintained in political parties as directed by the new Constitution.

"Political parties will have powers to nominate people who sit in the Senate and the Parliament and we want women to position themselves in the political parties," said Ms Wagereka.

The civil society also reiterated that it would remain vigilant in ensuring the new laws were observed. 

"We will also develop an implementation strategy that will ensure the realisation of the rights guaranteed and ensure that women\’s gains are preserved and defended," said the FIDA Chairperson.


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