East African Center For Law & Justice


Women Urged To Be Alert On The Implementation Process

The Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution has challenged women to remain vigilant in monitoring the implementation of the Constitution especially provisions dealing with gender equality and the fact that women have many gains.

Speaking during a forum to mark International Women's Day celebrations, CIC chairman Charles Nyachae stated that the new Constitution has sufficient frameworks to ensure women representation and gender balance.

He told the Udada forum that Kenyan women need to push the State to ensure that the letter and spirit of the Constitution in matters to deal with women and marginalized groups is respected. He urged them to carefully read the new law, to enable them to fight for their rights from an informed position.

Nyachae's message to the women all over the country was that it is their time "This Constitution is yours, let's implement it together, since it will only be fully and faithfully implemented if the Kenyan people and especially the greatest beneficiaries, the women
of Kenya remain vigilant," he said.

The Constitution provides 47 seats for women in the National Assembly. It further states that Parliament shall enact legislation to promote the representation of women in the House. The law has also allocated 16 seats to women in the Senate.

It also requires that gender equality be respected in public appointments ensuring that not more than two thirds of any gender is appointed.

Other gains that the women have in the new constitution include:- 

Women part of the National Assembly - Article 97 (1b)
Marital issues - Art 45 (4) (a), (b)
Seats for women – Article 81 (b)

In 2006 President Mwai Kibaki made a decree calling on the Public Service Commission to ensure that at least one third of the government workers are women.

Speaking at the same function, political activist Mumbi Ng'aru called on the CIC arbitrate political appointments in the future to ensure that women get their fare share. Ms Ng'aru regretted that the State had failed to show commitment to ensure gender
"We are still stuck in the mindset of the old Constitution and that is why there is sabotage," she said.

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