Pass the Two Thirds Gender Rule, President Kenyatta Urges Parliament

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President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged Parliament to pass the two thirds gender rule to show appreciation for the role women have played in Kenya’s progress.

President Kenyatta said women have played a big role in the liberation of Kenya and the subsequent progress the country has achieved.

He spoke at the funeral service of his sister, Margaret Wambui Kenyatta, who was a towering figure in Kenya’s freedom struggle and public service. He described her as a “strong woman who has been a pillar of our family”.

She rose to become the Mayor of Nairobi in the 1970’s and is credited for initiating some of the major housing estates in Nairobi, including Buruburu, Madaraka, Jamhuri and California.

President Kenyatta said he appreciates strong women and wants other Kenyan leaders to show solidarity with them.

“We have a responsibility to work together and ensure that the two thirds gender rule is passed so that women can take their rightful place,” he said, as he called on men to never to underestimate the strength of women.

The two third gender rule seeks to ensure that individuals of the same gender do not occupy more than two thirds of a particular category of public positions to ensure gender balance.

Former Parliamentarian Phoebe Asiyo said women have been fighting for gender parity for the last 50 years and that women would be grateful if that was achieved now. The Bill to guarantee gender parity has been rejected by Parliament two times.

Deputy President William Ruto said Ms Kenyatta was “a great lady who served our country with distinction.”

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero described her as a person of integrity whose records as Mayor of Nairobi have been hard to match for those who followed her.

He said she is credited with establishing most of the estates in Nairobi that provided cheap housing for residents.

“What she did is half the story. What is most outstanding is how she did it with integrity,” said Mr Kidero.

Ms Kenyatta was the first girl to enrol at Alliance High School, a boys’ school, in 1948. A few other girls joined her later before the Alliance Girls High School was opened.

In 1976, she was appointed Kenya Permanent Representative to the United Nations Environmental Program and in 1985 led the Kenya delegation to the United Nations Third World Conference to Review and Appraise the United Nations Decade of Women (1975-1985).

She served as a member of the Electoral Commission of Kenya from 1992 to 2002.

Source: allafrica.com

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