NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 26 – The National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) is pleased with President Uhuru Kenyatta for meeting the one-third gender threshold in his Cabinet nominees.
The commission’s chairperson Winnie Lichuma said on Friday that the president had sent a strong message of trusting women’s capabilities when he picked six women among the 16 nominees to his Cabinet.
“We have six women holding very, very key Cabinet responsibilities and on that we want to say we are very grateful,” she said and exuded confidence that women will be well represented when the president names his Principal Secretary nominees.
“We know that even as he moves to nominate the Principal Secretaries, who will go through a competitive process that he will come out clearly and add on the numbers of gender representation.”
The commission which also represents the interests of persons with disabilities (PWDs) would also like to see this special interest group represented in the Principal Secretary appointments.
“We understand that not everyone can be represented in the Cabinet but given there are six PWDs that have applied to be Principal Secretaries we are hopeful,” Lichuma stated.
She has now called on the Head of State to keep his promise of mainstreaming women and youth issues within all the ministries and would like the NGEC to be involved in the process.
“There has been discomfort coming around from the target groups; they would have loved to have a stand-alone ministry or department taking care of these interests. But what we have deliberated on and agreed is that it is good to house these vulnerable or special interest groups in his (the president’s) office but we need some structure in its implementation,” Lichuma explained.
On Thursday, President Kenyatta nominated Raychelle Omamo to the Ministry of Defence, Anne Waiguru to the Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Charity Ngilu to the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Phyllis Kandie to the Ministry of East African Affairs, Commerce and Tourism and Judi Wakhungu to the Ministry of Environment, Water and National Resources.
Amina Mohamed was nominated for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.
Article 27(8) of the Constitution demands that not more than two thirds of members of any public body shall be of the same gender.