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Political parties urged to adhere gender balance

05 March 2012, 12:17 Mercy Khahukani

The Kenyan political landscape was extremely fluid in August, 2011 as Parliament attempted to beat the one year deadline on a number of constitutional deadlines set in the 5th schedule under the constitution of Kenya 2010.

Parliament has since enacted the Election Act, 2011 the Political Parties Act, 2011 and the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission Act, 2011.

All these statutes affect the 2012 elections and the agenda at hand being, gender equality and affirmative action in political parties and political systems.

During a forum at Laico Regency Hotel early last week, the Executive Director of the Centre for Multi – party Democracy (CMD – Kenya), Njeri Kabeberi clarified that Kenya has 47 registered political parties, and 27 of them are members.

The guest speaker was Hon. Dr. Naomi Shaban who is the Minister for Gender Children and Social Development and her deputy Hon. Athanas Manyala Keya. In attendance was also Gichugu Legislator Hon. Martha Karua.

During the forum, some of the analysis looked at seven parties that have either mentioned or articulated matters of gender in their party manifestos. These 7 parties were also found to have at least more than one document, i.e. the party constitution, the manifesto, the strategic plan and also in some case, an election platform. Two of the parties are led by women.

The analysis has stayed mainly with the political party policy documents, and has taken time to look at some of the political pronouncements, especially from, President Mwai Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and MPs (pronouncement) more so during the debate on the Election Bill in relation to two thirds principal.


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