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Women vow to boycott 2017 elections over one third gender rule

13 May 2015, 10:32 Oduor Omondi

Kisumu - Women from Kisumu County have vowed to boycott the 2017 general election if the government fails to implement the one third gender rule.

The women who held a peaceful demonstration in Kisumu town on Monday said they were not ready to see the gains made by the Constitution and which they overwhelmingly voted for go down the drain.

Led by Fatuma Nyerere, Amina Akello and Trezza Mwale, the women said they were aggrieved by what they termed as selfish interest by some leaders to frustrate women rights.

They rubbished suggestions by the National Assembly Speaker, Justin Muturi that the 47 women seats be scrapped and replaced by special seats.

Muturi last week suggested that the 12 nominees allocated to political parties and 47 county women representatives be scrapped and replaced with 100 special seats for affirmative action.

Women Members of Parliament also reacted angrily to the proposal and asked the Speaker to steer clear of presiding over the gender rule.

Read Also: Female MPs lash at Muturi for proposing removal of Women Reps

“Women are being targeted for removal from positions of leadership but this we say is our constitutional right that we shall not let go,” said Amina Akello.

During the demonstration, the women said they were reading mischief in the suggestion, claiming that that was a move to have the seats taken over by men.

The Women, who carried placards with words “Justice for women is now, not tomorrow" and “Komesha dhuluma dhidi ya wanawake viongozi” (stop discrimination against women leadership) claimed that women were being intimidated, others physically beaten in a move they claimed was calculated to silence them.

They demanded that the government safeguard their rights.

According to chapter three of the Constitution, section 27(8), the State is required to take legislative and other measures to implement the principle that not more than two thirds of members of elective or appointive bodies shall be of the same gender.

The rule supposed to be in place by August this year has torn leaders and women apart, with no solution in sight yet.

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