NAIROBI, Kenya Jan 14 – With barely 48 hours to the second and final phase of the Enhanced Continuous Voter Registration (EVCR) ahead of the August 8th general elections, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has called on women to come out in large numbers and participate in the process.
According to the electoral body, the second and final round of the Mass Voter Registration will start on Monday next week and go on until February 6.
Vice-chairperson Juliana Cherera stated that for the country to meet the constitutional threshold of the elusive two third general rule, women must take an active role in the polls and support each other in the quest for the six elective seats.
“Women make a great contribution in the social and economic space. Why don’t we make the same in the political space? Keep on pushing because very soon we might achieve the two third gender rule,” she stated.
Statistics by the electoral commission show that women accounted for 46.6 percent of the 19.6mn registered voters in the 2017 polls, which was close to half of those who took part in the last general election.
Speaking during the establishment of a women coordination committee for the 2022 general elections, Cherera said that women should bank on their numbers to take up key position in leadership in all levels of government.
“We have opened up the space again through EVCR to give Kenyans another chance to registered. Let’s go above the 50 percent because statistics don’t lie, and figures are factual. Let everyone not registered come out now,” she said.
Among key strategies that the poll body has undertaken to marshal women to register and actively take part in the 2022 polls include putting in place gender policy mechanisms to cushion women, gender sensitive nomination rules and reducing registration fee for women aspirants in the elections.
“We understand the challenges that a woman in this country goes through and therefore this measure is to ensure more women take part in the elective seats,” stated the IEBC Vice Chair
She further mentioned that as a commission they have put in place robust measures to mobilize all groups including special groups such as the people living with disability not to be left behind in the mass countrywide exercise.
“We are working with several groups with different strategies for example we have gone to the extent of putting up kits in Universities so that the youth in campus actively take part in the registration exercise wherever they are,” she stated.
The commission is also expected undertake a Diaspora voter registration exercise which will commence on January 21 of February 6.
Kenyans who live abroad and wish to apply for registration as voters have been advised to present a valid passport, be over 18 years of age, and present their identification documents to the registration officer.
However, Kenyans living within the East African Community (EAC) may use their identity card as proof of their citizenship to register – Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan.