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Women in power urged to arm themselves with the constitution

18 November 2013, 22:12

Nyeri - Nyeri County Member of Parliament Priscilla Nyokabi has advised all women in top leadership positions to familiarise themselves with the constitution in order to avoid being hounded out of office on flimsy grounds.

Speaking to the media, Nyokabi said that "we have a double-sided society which believes in forgiveness for male leaders but not for women."

The legislator who was accompanied by her Kirinyaga counterpart Winnie Njuguna, Homa Bay’s Gladys Wanga, Murang’a’s Sabina Chege and Kajiado’s Mary Seneta said that women in top public office positions should equip themselves by keenly reading all the statutes of the constitution.

“I would encourage women in public office to be cautious. We should all carry a copy of the constitution in our handbags and read it everyday like a bible,” said Nyokabi.

Nyokabi who is also the deputy Chairperson of the National Assembly Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs said that women should watch their conduct and act within the four pillars of the constitution.  

“We should watch our conduct both in office and out of office because it is very dangerous for a woman to be caught on the wrong side of the law. Men will follow suit if we women show them the way and we will therefore have a better and just society,” said Nyokabi.

The legislator’s statements come at a time when the National Assembly passed a report filed by Committee on Delegated Legislation recommending the removal of Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu.

Last month, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) condemned the sacking of Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Boss Sholei by the Judicial Service Commission.

FIDA Chairperson Ruth Aura said that their mandate is to empower women to make key positions in leadership but women who are assertive and stand to their principles are wiped out.

Aura who was accompanied by Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) Vice-Chairperson Irene Keino said that there are powerful male leaders who have committed serious issues, yet they easily fight and cling onto their offices compared to women who don’t have the might to fight back.

“Women now fear toasting themselves on those top seats because they are being hunted down by issues which are of less value. We want equity and equality such that the issues concerning men and women are raised at the same bar but not selectively,” said Aura.

She continued: “Women could have faults just like any other human being but the way the issues are raised sends a negative image to the public. This is a societal problem which is so hard to overcome”.

She said that apart from Madam Sholei, many assertive women like former Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza, former Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB) Chief Executive Officer Eva Obara and many others have been chucked out of office.

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