, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 15 – The Kenyan chapter of the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to lower the nomination fees for women in all elective posts.
Executive Director Grace Maingi Kimani said on Wednesday that the new proposed fee by the IEBC was deterrent to women vying for political positions.
She said the nomination fees should be lowered in order to encourage women participation.
“Suffice to say such reduction should be one that constitutes a meaningful and effective measure in order to progress effective participation of Kenyan women in the electoral process,” she said in a statement.
The FIDA boss added that the organisation is particularly concerned about the nomination fee prescribed by the IEBC which it said is quite high and particularly for women aspirants.
“FIDA Kenya is concerned that the effect of this will be to shun many willing women candidates from running for elective posts,” she stated.
The IEBC has in its Draft Election Regulations 2012 recommended a non-refundable nomination fee of Sh1 million for presidential aspirants while those seeking election as women representatives, senate and governorship would part with Sh500, 000.
For those who would want Parliamentary seats, the IEBC recommended a nomination fee of Sh250, 000.
FIDA Kenya said that studies and history had shown it was comparably difficult for women to raise funds for campaigns and elections costs. This, it said, was particularly so in Kenya and was due to prior historical injustices accosted to women that placed them at a disadvantage.
“While it’s admitted that women in Kenya today enjoy a greater extent of equality and freedom from discrimination, strong struggles undeniably still remain in the realm of representation and politics in general,” Kimani said.
The women lawyers recommended that the IEBC draws inspiration and guidance from Article 27(6), (7) and (8) of the Constitution which prescribe affirmative action measures for the benefit of those who suffered past discrimination.