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Pass Gender Bill or we’ll go to court – women’s caucus

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A caucus of women political aspirants who lost in previous general elections has threatened to petition courts to dissolve Parliament if MPs fail to pass the Two-Thirds Gender Bill.

The group, whose members are drawn from the 47 counties, is led by 2013 Siaya Senate aspirant Agnes Awour.

“I’m 70 per cent convinced that this Bill is going to be passed this time round. If it collapses, the next strategy is to take the matter to court,” she said on Wednesday at a press conference in Nairobi.

The group wants the electoral commission to nominate women to Parliament, instead of approving names submitted by political parties.

It reiterated that the IEBC during the nomination process should give priority to women who had shown interest in politics and those who have helped in the development of the society, such crusaders of women’s rights.

Read: Two-Thirds Gender Bill will bring lazy slay queens to Parliament – Didmus Barasa

Related: New gender Bill draws mixed reactions as debate begins

“A leader like Martha Karua who has been advocating for women representation in leadership should not be left out, among other women leaders,” Awour said.

She pointed out that by the IEBC taking control of nominating women would overcome the problem of party leaders picking their “daughters, sisters, relatives and slay queens who offer nothing”.

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Awuour was flanked by more than 10 members, including Purity Gikunda (2017 MCA aspirant) and Aisha Dafalla who contested for the Women Rep seat last year.

Also present was the Peace Society of Kenya ambassador Jared Onyari.

“We can’t run away from this constitutional principle because the Supreme Court has also pronounced itself on it and it is about equality and fairness. This rule is not about women, but for the posterity of this country,” Onyari said

“It is an insult when we talk about two-thirds, yet the world is talking about 50-50 representation in leadership between men and women.”

Gikunda said, “We are not asking for free seats but they become free seats when party leaders reward them to their relatives and girlfriends.”

Once implemented there will be 117 women of the 349 members in National Assembly and 23 women of the 67 members in Senate. Currently, there are 75 women in the National Assembly and 21 in the Senate.

“We may be making significant progress, but I know for sure the status quo is neither fair nor acceptable,” Awuor said.

The group said the country is able to afford the cost of additional women nominated to Parliament.

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