Narc-K attacks plan to amend gender rule

Sunday August 21 2011

By ERIC [email protected]

Gichugu MP Martha Karua on Sunday attacked a Cabinet proposal to amend the gender representation rule in the new Constitution.

The former Justice minister said she would not sit back and watch women being disadvantaged.

The Narc-Kenya chairperson spoke as Prime Minister Raila Odinga made an assurance that the government was fully behind the constitutional provision for an increase in women representation in politics.

Mr Odinga denied reports that the Cabinet was having second thoughts about the clause which stipulates that women have at least 30 per cent of positions in all political fora.

“The government is not opposed to the clause but was merely deliberating on ways of amending article 97 of the new Constitution to enforce implementation of the law,” Mr Odinga said in Kasipul Kabondo at the weekend at the funeral of academician Samson Ojwang.

But speaking at ACK St Paul church in Kabete, Ms Karua said the Constitution is very clear on the women’s rights issue.

“The Constitution is clear that there should not be more than two third representations in any elected body and this includes House of Assembly, county and senate.

“If it goes through, thank God we have our courts,” Ms Karua said.

The Cabinet last week approved an amendment to drop the requirement that not more than two thirds of any institution should constitute one gender.

“For years, women have been left to fight for the small seats because political parties have been denying them tickets. In 1992, I was forced to dump my political party for another after I was denied a chance to vie for a parliamentary seat and this is what we want to stop,” she said.