, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 22 – Activists have presented a petition to the Office of the President demanding that Uhuru Kenyatta appoints at least nine women to the Cabinet to meet two-thirds gender threshold.
The Chief Executive of the Centre for Rights, Education and Awareness, Wangeci Wachira, asked President Kenyatta to ensure that ideals of gender equality are met as per the 2010 Constitution.
“On 5th January the President unveiled nine nominees to the Cabinet. All the nine nominees were of one gender (male).The President, under (Art27(8)) can form a Cabinet with a maximum of 22 Cabinet Secretaries. Out of the possible 13 positions that remain the President must by law ensure at least nine go to women,” said Wachira.
She led a group of women to Harambee House where they presented the petition.
She said that the gender principle has not been adhered to in Parliament nor has it been given any consideration in the ongoing appointments to the Cabinet.
Currently there are only 76 women in the National Assembly which is 41 short of the required number. In the Senate, the threshold for the two-thirds gender-principle is 23 members of either gender. Currently, there are 21 female Senators which is two short of the required number.
According to the petition, Parliament is improperly constituted and operating outside the law, but this is under litigation in the High Court of Kenya.
“More than seven years since the promulgation of our constitution, women are still forced to agitate for the right to political participation and equitable representation in Parliament and in the Executive,” said Wachira.
The petition was received by a representative in the Office of the President who gave an assurance that it will get to the President for consideration.