bBI seeks to make two-thirds Gender rule mandatory

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct  22- The entrenched gender inequality in the country where women feel marginalized in decision-making and political representation may be cured if recommendations in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report are adopted.

The Taskforce wants the adoption of a political representation system that will make it mandatory for Parliament and the Executive to ensure that the Two-Thirds Gender Rule is observed.

This is after women and girls submitted that they felt excluded and marginalised, particularly in politics.

The Committee further proposes the creation of a strict monitoring system in the implementation of the two-thirds Gender Rule and execution of sanctions for non-compliance.

The proposal comes at a time Chief Justice David Maraga has advised President to dissolve Parliament for failing to pass the two third gender rule laws.

“A vast number of submissions regarding the lack of inclusivity for women were received during the validation process. The Steering Committee was struck by the deep and widespread feeling of exclusion and marginalization among the women of  Kenya, who felt that mainstream socio-cultural and political arrangements prevent them from fully accessing their rights under the Constitution,” the taskforce stated

“A specific concern of stakeholders was the entrenched political marginalization and particularly the lack of implementation of the two-thirds Gender Rule,” it states.

Parliament has failed to enact the gender rule that seeks to have more women in Parliament for the last 10 years, a move that prompted Chief Justice to issue the advisory.

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The matter is currently in court pending hearing and determination.

The Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji-led Committee also wants the fast-tracking of the enactment of the Menstrual Health Management Bill and the up-scaling of funding for social protection to protect children from teenage pregnancies, early marriages and Sexual Gender-Based Violence.

On the elderly, the task force said that the majority of the elderly are languishing in poverty and the National Government must take care of them by developing a suitable retirement benefits scheme in both private and public sectors.

The task force also wants the finalization and the implementation of the Pensions Management Information System (PMIS) of the Pensions Department to reduce the backlog of claims on pensions and other benefits.  

On Wednesday, President and his handshake partner ODM leader Raila Odinga received the much-awaited BBI report on  with far-reaching recommendations that include the creation of the Prime Minister’s position among other proposals.

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