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Ida Odinga: Gender rule will unlock countless opportunities for women



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The two-thirds gender will help not only women but Kenyans at large, politician Raila Odinga’s wife has said in a push for parliamentarians to vote for it.

Members of Parliament will on Wednesday afternoon vote on the enactment of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2018, which seeks to implement the rule on gender representation in parliament.

Debate on the bill, which seeks to amend articles 97 and 98 of the Constitution to introduce special nomination slots for women MPs, ended last Wednesday.

While voicing her support for it, Mrs Ida Odinga noted, “Women have been marginalised for many years. They should be given the opportunity to take leadership positions.”

She added that since independence, women have not had a fair chance to compete with men in the political scene.

In most instances, she said, they have faced discrimination based on their marital status and where they are married.

“It is time for women to be given a fair opportunity to vie in regions where they are married and to be voted for without discrimination,” she said in her office in Nairobi on Wednesday.

Most of the women in leadership positions were elected where they were born.

Mrs Odinga further pointed out that once nominated, women will be able to vie for the positions in future.

She also pushed for issue-based politics, which she said will enable women with leadership qualities to compete fairly with their male counterparts.

“I therefore appeal to parliamentarians to vote for this bill. I will be there to watch them vote,” she said.

“Parliamentarians … do the needful and Kenyans will be happy.”

This is the second time for the bill to go to the vote.

Mrs Odinga spoke when members of the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association paid her a courtesy visit.

They included chairperson Purity Ngirichi, Rosa Buyu (Kisumu Woman Representative), Beatrice Adagaca (Vihiga Woman Represenative), Kabodo Kaspul member of parliament Eve Obara, Njoro’s Charity Chepkony and former Nyeri Woman Representative Priscilla Nyokabi.