By Mourice Seretta
A section of women leaders under the umbrella Women Agenda have condemned at the escalating trends of violence against women and children citing that in the recent past, the country has witnessed horrific murders including that of a mother and her two children in Laikipia.
The women leaders also said they are also saddened by the dismembering of a lady in Bungoma, the rape and killing of a university student in Kasarani and many more incidences of femicide adding that they were deeply concerned at the rising levels of insecurity in homes, workplaces and in relationships.
Led by Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Hon Beatrice Elachi and Priscillah Nyokabi, the more than twenty women leaders also said they were saddened to note that the incidences of violence against women have not escaped even the houses of Parliament where they had witnessed the use of violent language and threats against female Members of Parliament.
’Parliament ought to be the seat of honour where the representatives of the people model what it means to respect constitution and the rule o0f law. The women of Kenya condemn such callous behaviour in the strongest terms’, offered Nyokabi.
The women leaders also said they were angered by the recent report of the senate legal affairs and justice committee which purportedly thrashed the constitutional provisions on the equality of women and men.
The said the committee is reported to have rejected the Bill tabled by Senators Mutula Kilonzo Jnr and Senator Haji Farhiya Ali proposing the amendment of Article 97 of the constitution to give effect to the Two-Third gender principle through the provision of the top-up clause to implement the principle whenever it was required.
The committee is reported to have stated that ‘the impact of the current crop of nominated women to both the National Assembly and the Senate is yet to be felt and that women have now ‘come of age’ and do not need top up seats because three women were elected as governors and three as senators.
‘We are enraged at the reports attributed to the senate committee and are seeking audience with the committee to discuss the matter further. We however want to thank and applaud Senators Mutula Kilonzo Jnr and Farhiya Ali for staying true to their mandate as the people’s representatives and showing respect for the constitution and believing in the need to implement it.
We also commend the women senators for taking a strong stand against the position of the Senate committee and calling for the resubmission of the Bill,’ Stated the women leaders.
The women leaders rejected the ongoing narrative that women are overly represented and contribute to high wage bill saying the narrative is grossly misleading and called for commitment on the implementation of the principle of inclusion and the need to ensure that women’s participation remains central and informs every program in the country and also remains central to every national conversation.
They also demanded for urgent action by all actors to end Gender Based Violence, including Sexual Gender Based Violence, Political and electoral violence, Femicide, Defilement, amongst others. They also demanded for guaranteed security for all vulnerable members of society including women, girls and persons living with disabilities.