Kenya's politicians must pass a bill that would ensure that women one-third of parliamentary seats – or were in danger of the country into a constitutional crisis, MPs who supported & The bil Tuesday.
Despite the Kenya constitution 2010 stating that more than two-thirds of any elected or designated body may not be of the same sex, women hold 22 per cent of seats in the country's lower parliamentary house, and 31 per cent in the upper house.
Court judgments since 2012 have referred a parliament to pass legislation to enforce the gender rule or the risk is canceled – but previous attempts have failed female MPs to accuse male makers of attempts deliberately blocked.
If the parliament is dissolved, a general election would need to be called. Kenya held a controversial, polarized and violent election last year.
During increasing scrutiny by the courts, the lower house of Kenya is expected to go on a bill on Wednesday.
"The truth is that we, as a parliament, are unconstitutional," said Rozaah Buyu, a representative on the western Kisumu region.
"What authority do we have to bring others to account when we do not act within the constitution by ignoring the gender rule?"
The high court in 2017 said that the main justice can be petitioned to advise the president to abolish parliament if law was not enacted, says Buyu, who is the vice president of Kenya Women's Senate.
Time to count
The Kenya economy has grown by an average of 5 per cent annually over the past decade, but the benefits have not been split equally. Women and women remain socially, economically and politically disadvantaged.
Women form only a third of the 2.5 million people employed in the formal sector, says Kenya National Statistics Office. And while women provide 80 per cent of Kenya farm labor, they own 1 per cent of agricultural land.
The percentage of women in Kenya is lower than the neighbors of eastern Africa such as Ethiopia, South Sudan, Burundi and Rwanda, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
Sex experts say that women in politics around the world face a barrage of challenges – from physical and sexual violence to lack funds to fund their campaigns. Quotas, they say, help create a more level playing field and make their voice represented.
The bill, introduced in parliament last week, provides that special seats are created if elections do not reach required numbers, with applicants of gender that have not been adequately represented. to nominate to fill in.
With the support of President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, many MPs have expressed support for the bill, identifying recent movements in Ethiopia where half of the cabinet, the head of the election, head of the supreme court and the president are women.
& Loss of bananas & # 39; and sexual slides
But the bill faces strong resistance.
Previous attempts to vote on a bill have turned, mainly due to quorum cuts where MPs have failed to attend, and there is a fear that this could happen again.
Sex rights experts say that critics have also sprayed opposition by using popular comments and sensationalist sexist conversations, to portray the draft legislation as a "girls" bill.
Offices, which they add, will be given to senior masters of politicians or "deaths" – a term slang used to describe a beautiful woman who only dates rich men – rather than on merit.
One MP suggested that women who are nominated for parliamentary seats have an "integrity" test where their children's DNA will be checked to ensure they are all the same father.
Gender rights experts say that this has undermined public perceptions of the bill – leading to an argument that has been dominated by sexism rather than facts.
"Citizens are a misunderstanding that gender is female, and the bill is in favor of favoring women in political representation," said Zebib Kavuma, the head of U.N Women in Kenya.
"This provision could be male or female, as in the case of Rwanda where more men are currently nominated to reach the two-thirds threshold.The sex rule passes in important for the future. Men may need the law in some years to come. "
Male opponents have also argued that the creation of additional parliamentary seats would cost Kenya's taxpayers millions of dollars in extra salaries, but campaigners cite studies from the Institute of Economic Affairs that estimate the cost per person to be around six pounds ($ .06) every year.
"All of these are shows alongside unreasonable patriarch," said Marilyn Kamuru, a prominent lawyer and sex rights commentator.
"Politicians try to resist anti-women feel as a basis to justify their voting number. That's why they do not want to have a debate about the fact that this bill is a constitutional requirement."