THE SUPREME COURT ADVISORY OPINION ON KENYA

DEADLINE!!!!

ATTAINMENT OF THE 2/3 GENDER PRINCIPLE

 

The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 Article 27(8) provides that not more than two thirds of the members of elective or appointive bodies shall be of the same gender. In October 2012, the Attorney General sought an Advisory Opinion from the Supreme Court on the Principle of Gender Representation in the National Assembly and the Senate. The Supreme Court stated that it was fully cognizant of the distinct social imperfection which led to the adoption of Articles 27(8) and 81(b) of the Constitution: that in elective or other public bodies, the participation of women has, for decades, been held at bare nominal levels, on account of discriminatory practices, or gender-indifferent laws, policies and regulations.  

 

The Supreme Court advised that realisation of equality and freedom from discrimination rights can not only be attained by legislation but also by policies and other measures such as affirmative action programmes and policies to address past discrimination. The majority view was that achieving the two third gender rule was progressive and needed positive and good faith by people in both elective and appointive positions. The Supreme Court explained that public elective bodies do not only refer to National Assembly, Senate or County Government but also includes all public bodies that elect or appoint representatives. It is important to note that the Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga, in his dissenting opinion stated that ‘the Constitution was wholesome in its provisions and no prescriptions other than those provided in the Constitution were necessary’.

 

As a result of the Advisory Opinion, the Attorney General of Kenya established a technical working group comprising of government agencies led by the National Gender and Equality Commission and FIDA Kenya representing the civil society organizations (CSOs) to identify and advise the government on the suitable formula to achieve the two third gender principle as envisioned by the Constitution.

 

FIDA Kenya wishes to alert the public that the August 2015 deadline is fast approaching and there is need to have a working formula in place. We urge men and women of Kenya to engage their respective members of parliament, to adopt the proposed framework by the working group to effect the Constitutional provisions on representation.

 

FIDA Kenya further calls upon leaders in the private sector, religious institutions, public sector and civil society to embrace the importance of women leadership in both their elective and appointive positions. This will not only show the positive and good faith by all leaders on women leadership, but will also adhere to our Constitution, International human rights standards and ensure sustainable development for Kenya.

 

Christine Ochieng

Executive Director

FIDA Kenya

DEADLINE!!!!

ATTAINMENT OF THE 2/3 GENDER PRINCIPLE

The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 Article 27(8) provides that not more than two thirds of the members of elective or appointive bodies shall be of the same gender. In October 2012, the Attorney General sought an Advisory Opinion from the Supreme Court on the Principle of Gender Representation in the National Assembly and the Senate. The Supreme Court stated that it was fully cognizant of the distinct social imperfection which led to the adoption of Articles 27(8) and 81(b) of the Constitution: that in elective or other public bodies, the participation of women has, for decades, been held at bare nominal levels, on account of discriminatory practices, or gender-indifferent laws, policies and regulations.