Tracing The Journey: Towards Implementation Of The Two Thirds Gender Principle

At the core of the Constitution of Kenya (COK, 2010) is the belief that there can only be real progress in society if all citizens participate fully in their governance, and that all, male and female, persons with disabilities (PWDs) and all previously marginalized and excluded groups are included in the affairs of the republic.Specifically, the Constitution provides in Article 81 (b) that “the electoral system shall comply with the principle that not more than two-thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender”. The persistent challenge has been on how to actualise this core commitment in Kenya’s National Assembly and Senate as prescribed. This publication traces the efforts to implement the commitment through legislation.

Women have been historically and systematically marginalized through distinct social and legal imperfections that relegated them to the periphery of public political life. The post-independence context in Kenya is particularly important in assessing the struggle for inclusion of women in political and electoral processes.

The purpose of this publication, is to highlight these political and legal developments towards implementation of the two-thirds gender principle. Important to note is the lack of political will towards the goal. Secondly is the outright disobedience of court orders by parliament. Thirdly is the flagrant impunity the legislature is showing by continuing to operate yet it is unconstitutional. Passing the two-thirds gender law is a matter of constitutional compliance, yet parliament has made it a matter of political choice.

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Last Updated August 1, 2022, 10:39 (UTC)
Created August 1, 2022, 10:38 (UTC)