Women Leaders Laud BBI Report for Promoting Gender Equality

By Anita Chepkoech

sudan women

Women leaders, among them Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu, have thrown their weight behind the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, but called for a clear implementation matrix to the gender equality proposals outlined.

The Coalition for Women Leaders and the Common Women Agenda (Cowa) yesterday warned that unless a clear roadmap was set, there was a risk of the proposals remaining on paper as it happened with the two-thirds gender rule which has not been implemented a decade after the passage of the Constitution 2010.

The leaders present were former National Gender Equality Commission (Ngec) chairperson Wilfred Lichuma, Ngec Commissioner Priscilla Nyokabi, Maendeleo ya Wanawake Chairperson Rehab Mwikali, Dr Jennifer Riria and the Group Chief Executive Officer at Echo Network Africa (ENA), among others.

 One of their focus is to have political parties bound by law to provide the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission a list of candidates that is two-thirds gender compliant and further provides for the inclusion of persons with disability.

“If this document goes through, we have much to celebrate, but we are aware that there is a lot that still needs to be done and we still continue to pursue that,” said Governor Ngilu.

 Women agenda

“This process marks such an important reflection point in the history of our country and we must seize the opportunity of this moment to secure the future of the next generation,” she added.

In the report released on Tuesday by President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Opposition leader Raila Odinga, the women agenda is one of the key questions the proponents seek to address as a key constituency to the passage of the constitutional amendment sill in a referendum.

The women leaders said the 50-50 representation of elected men and women to the Senate should be offered equal powers to vote, especially when it comes to determining the county allocations.

“The Senate may seem gender-balanced currently, but the 16 nominated women don’t have the voting rights and more or less have no power. The BBI comes in as a win-win situation for women s it gives them the power to also protect women interests in the counties do not vote,” said Ms Ngilu.

Source: allafrica.com

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