Vote for women, Asiyo challenges Kenyans

Phoebe Asiyo; she has has challenged Kenyans to consider gender as part of the priority areas to consider when voting tomorrow.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Former Karachuonyo MP  Phoebe Asiyo, has challenged Kenyans to consider gender as part of the priority areas to consider when voting tomorrow.
  • She said is the inclusion of affirmative action in the Constitution, which has empowered more women is a very important change for women.

United Nations Development Fund for Women Goodwill Ambassador and chairperson of the Kenyan Caucus for Women's Leadership Phoebe Asiyo, has challenged Kenyans to consider gender as part of the priority areas to consider when voting tomorrow.

She said this will ensure the actualisation and implementation of two-thirds rule.

Speaking to nation.africa from her home in Kanyaluo, Karachuonyo Constituency, Ms Asiyo said making gender, besides ability by a candidate to deliver development projects, should be a subject in voting as it will ensure Parliament is not faulted for breaking the law.

Members of the last national assembly were accused of declining to enact the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2018, also known as the Gender Bill, which seeks to legislate on the constitutional requirement that neither gender should have more than two-thirds in elective positions.

Former Chief Justice David Maraga had to advise President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament after some Kenyans filed a petition demanding that Parliament be sanctioned for failure to comply with a High Court order that it enacts laws to ensure the country achieves the two-thirds gender rule required in the Constitution.

Ms Asiyo said to avoid a repeat of the same, more women should be elected in different leadership positions during the imminent election.

Kenya has a history of electing male politicians.

One gender

This has been the trend from independence.

The 2010 constitution, however, demands that not more than two-thirds of the composition of a public institution should be from one gender.

Ms Asiyo said several attempts have been made to ensure this becomes a reality, but all have faced equal resistance.

"We must step forward in promoting women leadership. But more must be done to ensure the 2022 election is different," she said, adding that the election of more women will open opportunities for others to be appointed on other levels of government.

Ms Asiyo who once served as Karachuonyo MP, has been advocating for women leadership. From her tenure between 1980 and 1997, she ensured she used her position to push more women to power.

Over the years, the trend of men taking all leadership positions has changed dramatically.

One of the most important changes for women, Ms Asiyo said, is the inclusion of affirmative action in the Constitution, which has empowered more women.

Homa Bay is among counties leading in women leadership.

In 2017, residents elected three female MPs in single constituencies, Lilian Gogo (Rangwe), Eve Obara (Kabondo Kasipul) and Millie Odhiambo (Suba North) who will all be defending their seats in this.


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