, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 27 – The vote on the two-thirds Gender Bill has flopped once again due to a quorum hitch in the National Assembly.
The vote on the Constitution Amendment Bill 2018 failed to take place for the fourth time because there were 174 MPs present out of threshold required – 233 MPs.
House Speaker Justin Muturi said the motion failed since numbers were not enough to necessitate a vote, in what angered women Members of Parliament who chanted while castigating their male counterparts who stayed away.
Women MPs led by Kandara legislator Alice Wahome accused Majority Leader Aden Duale who sponsored the Bill of failing to lobby his male counterparts to support it.
“It was obvious that with only 174 Members of Parliament we were not going to vote but we want to say this without any fear; it is clear that the Majority Leader Adan Duale, who is the owner of this Bill was not committed because we did not see him lobbying his male colleagues and we as women of this nation are really disappointed,” she said.
On her part, Kirinyaga Woman Representative Wangui Ngirici accused the National Government of not having women’s interests at heart and vowed to mobilize other women to reject referendum calls.
“From today, we now understand where we women of this nation stand in the government; we now know what the government thinks of us… and we want to say this so loudly; we will mobilize all the women in this country not to participate in any referendum; there will be no referendum until the requirements of the 2010 Constitution are met,” Ngirici warned.
The women lawmakers have been lobbying their male counterparts since last week, in anticipation of Wednesday’s planned vote.
The wife to former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Ida, who came to Parliament to show solidarity with women MPs said the country might never witness its full potential if women continue to be marginalised.
She however expressed optimism that women will not tire to fight for their rights and what is enshrined in the Constitution.
“It is a shame that at this time and age, some of our leaders continue to pull down anything that seems to benefit women. However, all is not lost and we as women we will go ahead and strategize on the way forward,” she said.
In October last year Duale requested the Speaker of the House to defer voting to this year after the numbers fell short with 208 MPs showing up in Parliament at the time.