The woman representative seat could soon be abolished if a proposed constitutional amendment sails through.
Uasin Gishu County Member of Parliament Gladys Boss Shollei has tabled a Constitutional Amendment Bill seeking to scrap the Woman Representative seat and increase the number of women to Parliament through election — not party nomination.
The bill, which was tabled in Parliament last week, proposes the pairing of constituencies to form one constituency that will be reserved solely for women. The existing constituencies will be vied for by both genders.
On Tuesday, Ms Shollei said her bill seeks to address the elusive two-thirds gender rule through electing more women.
“The essence of the bill is to add more women in Parliament through an election and not through nomination,” Ms Shollei said.
“Party nominations have always been abused by party leaders who nominate their mistresses and cronies,” said the legislator, who is the chair of the National Assembly’s Committee on Delegated Legislation.
Should the new bill be passed, it will be a big blow to party leaders who usually dish out nomination certificates to cronies.
The government, through the Leader of Majority Aden Duale, has published another bill that seeks to address the two-thirds gender rule.
Ms Shollei said the difference between the Duale Bill and hers is that her bill proposes increasing the number of women to Parliament who have been tested and vetted by the public through an election.
“My bill also includes the law relating to nominations of Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) where three wards will be paired and reserved for the election of women MCAs,” explained Ms Shollei.
She said this will ensure there are enough women in the local assemblies to meet the one-third gender threshold unlike currently where, in most counties, ward seats were won by men.
“My bill will have a watershed effect. I believe that having women contest twice competitively will lay a softer ground for them to run effectively for political seats. For them, the affirmative action stops,” said the Woman Rep elected on a Jubilee ticket.