Women leaders under siege in Parliament – lobby

February 28, 2014 1:06 pm


"Even as the women are on the floor of the House and they want to articulate an issue, they get booed by the men"/XINHUA-File
“Even as the women are on the floor of the House and they want to articulate an issue, they get booed by the men”/XINHUA-File
NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 28 – The Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) has decried what it describes as a continued violation of women’s rights in the National Assembly.

According to the lobby group’s Deputy Director Michael Wachira, the National Assembly needs to put in place legislative frameworks to promote women’s rights.

“Even as the women are on the floor of the House and they want to articulate an issue, they get booed by the men.”

“A few do not have the opportunity to meet with their County Governors and other leaders in their counties and they are often sidelined and their opinions alienated yet they were elected into positions of leadership.”

“Some women leaders do not have offices at the counties where they were elected nor do they have budgets to help them in serving the people,” he explained.

Speaking as he launched CREAW’s strategic plan for 2014-2018, Wachira urged the legislators to work with gender groups to ensure that women’s rights are adhered to.

“Let us mobilise the men to support the women leaders and once they do so, they then work with already set structures to see that the women get an equal opportunity in their role,” he urged.

CREAW Executive Director Wangechi Moegi said that their plan seeks to set out intervention measures to solve gender based issues that women face.

“Our strategic objectives will guide the implementation of the plan and achievement of these aims will include contribution to the progressive realisation of the constitutional gains for women in governance and leadership positions.”

“It will further disrupt poverty cycles by facilitating access to economic empowerment opportunities for women,” she explained.

Focus was on Friday expected to shift to the Orange Democratic Movement’s elections after three Members of Parliament allied to the party in January called for more women and youths to take up leadership positions.

Kibra MP Ken Okoth, Karachuonyo’s James Rege and Ndhiwa’s Aghostinho Neto said that it was necessary for ODM to overhaul its leadership if it was to secure a presidential win in 2017.

The legislators argued that the party must have high calibre women and dedicated youths within its top ranks in addition to having a healthy blend of both old and young leaders.

“You cannot simply have a tyranny of youths or a tyranny of old people running the party. I want to see a blend of old guard experienced leaders and new young people. Allow us to sit at the table, produce and add something of value,” said Okoth.

Rege on his part said that the party leadership should be representative of the face of Kenya adding that the seats should be shared among various regions.


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