Mudeizi urges women to rally behind each other for political inclusion
Published on: May 09, 2021 10:01 (EAT)
Women have been urged to form caucuses to strengthen their political ambitions and enhance gender equality in the political arena. Vihiga County Assembly Speaker Hasna Mudeizi called for rallying of women’s movements, drawing examples from her career that has seen her earn accolades for exemplary performance. She cited her legislative effort in the passing of the Vihiga County Public Participation Act 2020, which is anchored on inclusion of minority groups in policy formulation. “I am happy that even when I exit this position, those who will come after me will have to take the assembly to the people because I have ensured that it is anchored in law. This is my brainchild and I will be happy to have women included in the making of laws that directly affect them and their livelihoods,” she said. In the bill, the house is allowed to hold sittings at the sub-county level, to ensure that the legislative process factors win the voices of the minority groups including women who have often been excluded from the decision-making table. She was speaking during a forum with women drawn from eight counties within the Lake Region where they drafted a plan for more inclusion of women in politics. On her part, Easter Oketch, the Executive Director at KEFEADO (Kenya Female Advocacy Organisation), emphasized the pivotal role played by women’s movements especially in sealing the identified loopholes that hinder women’s participation in politics. “As women, we must rise and challenge these barriers because if we sweep it under the carpet, then we will be setting a precedence that will hinder the upcoming generation of women from claiming their space at the table where important decisions are made,” she said. The dialogue was convened by The African Women’s Development and Communications Network (FEMNET) and the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) in partnership with International IDEA. The meeting that was held on May 6-7 aimed at advancing gender equality in politics and governance. In its quest to attain gender equality, Kenya has signed several commitments including the AU Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development among others. Kenya ratified the Maputo Protocol in 2010 with two restrictions, relating to the reduction of the military expenditure in favor of spending on social development and in the medical termination of pregnancy which is in contravention to Article 26(4) of the constitution of Kenya which provides that ‘Abortion is not permitted unless, in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment or the life or health of the mother is in danger, or if permitted by any other written law.