Women must pursue gains in Constitution

March 8, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 8 -The Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution has challenged women to remain vigilant in monitoring the implementation of the Constitution especially provisions dealing with gender equality.

Speaking during a forum to mark International Women\’s Day celebrations CIC chairman Charles Nyachae said the new law had sufficient frameworks to ensure women representation and gender balance.

He told the Udada forum that Kenyan women need to push the State to ensure that the letter and spirit of the Constitution in matters to deal with women and marginalised groups is respected.

"This Constitution will only be fully and faithfully implemented if the Kenyan people and especially the greatest beneficiaries, the women of Kenya remain vigilant," he said.

He said "although the Constitution does not take the women where they would want to go it provides a general framework to take them there."

"It is not everybody out there who is over excited about the implementation of this Constitution. But it is yours, it is your Constitution," Mr Nyachae added.

He urged the women to carefully read the new law to enable them fight for their rights from an informed position.

"My message to Kenyan women is that this is your time. This Constitution is yours, let\’s implement it together," he said.

"Now is the time to remain more vigilant. Ensure you remain vigilant until we win."

The Constitution provides 47 seats for women in the National Assembly. It further states that Parliament shall enact legislation to promote the representation of women in the House. The law has also allocated 16 seats to women in the Senate.

It also requires that gender equality be respected in public appointments ensuring that not more than two thirds of any gender is appointed.

In 2006 President Mwai Kibaki made a decree calling on the Public Service Commission to ensure that at least one third of the government workers are women.

Speaking at the same function, political activist Mumbi Ng\’aru called on the CIC to intervene in future political appointments to ensure that women get their fare share.

Ms Ng\’aru regretted that the State had failed to show commitment to ensure gender balance.

"We are still stuck in the mindset of the old Constitution and that is why there is sabotage," she said.

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