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UN to help Kenya achieve two-third
gender principle in leadership roles

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The United Nations on Tuesday pledged to assist Kenya to achieve the two-third gender principle in elective posts.

Karin Fueg, the Deputy Country Director of the UN Women Kenya told a women forum in Nairobi that the UN Post-Election Programme will include interventions on electoral legislative reform and institutional strengthening to ensure more women are elected to national and county leadership roles.

Fueg said her organization will thus continue to provide convening support to stakeholders for a concerted dialogue and strategy on the issue of advancing the quest for women’s leadership.

“Further plans are underway to engage targeted parliamentary committees for enactment of the implementing legislation,” Fueg said during the launch of the Gender Audit Report of the 2017 polls.

The August 2017 polls resulted in significant gains by women leading to a marginal increase in representation as compared to the 2013 elections.

“Women’s representation in parliament now stands at approximately 21 percent, up from 19.6 percent in 2013,” Fueg added.

She said that despite these gains, Kenya lags behind regional neighbors with respect to women’s representation in the legislature with Rwanda at 64 percent, Tanzania at 36 percent while Uganda and Burundi at 35 percent and 30 percent respectively.

Fueg noted that for a country to realize true democratic ideals, the quest for women’s participation in leadership and decision making must be understood, appreciated and prioritized.

She observed that historical barriers presenting limitation to inclusive leadership must be challenged.

“When the decision-making table includes both men and women, communities and the country at large will benefit from leadership that considers the diverse needs and interests of its citizens,” said the UN official.

Fueg noted that while principles of gender equality and non discrimination are embedded in the constitution, the convergence of law, social norms and the patriarchal nature of Kenyan society has served to severely limit 51 percent of population access to leadership and representation.

The two-third principle requires not more than two thirds of people to be of the same gender.



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