PRESS RELEASE- February 27, 2019
LOSS OF MOTION ON THE CONSTITUTION OF KENYA (AMENDMENT) BILL 2018
The National Gender and Equality Commission has followed keenly the developments in the National Assembly during division on the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2018. This is the Bill that would have provided for a mechanism to ensure compliance with the principle of not more than two thirds of members of the National Assembly and Senate are of the same gender. Kenya still remains last in the Eastern Africa region regarding gender parity in political representation.
The Commission wishes to thank all the honourable members of Parliament who showed up in the chambers and were ready to make the historic vote. We also thank all Kenyans and partners who stood in solidarity with the Bill. Unfortunately, due to lack of quorum of at least 233 members required to proceed to division, the Bill was lost at least for now. The loss just as in the previous session only serves to exacerbate the gender imbalance that pervaded the 11th and now the 12th Parliament despite a clear advisory by the Supreme Court of Kenya that Parliament must ensure a framework was in place by August 27, 2015.
That the Bill was lost, not on account of a popular vote but a lack of quorum serves to illustrate an abdication of duty by members of Parliament against what is clearly a constitutional imperative and duty in ensuring compliance with national values and advancing the rule of law in political representation.
The Commission will continue to robustly promote constitutionalism and defend the right of every Kenyan to participate and be included in the social, political and economic development of this country.
DR. JOYCE MUTINDA (PhD).