Report gives thumbs-up to women, youth roles
The 12th Parliament will go down as the House that failed to implement the two-thirds gender rule despite its high number of elected women and was actively participating in the proceedings.
A report by Mzalendo, an organisation that keeps track of MP's performance, shows that despite various attempts — including the introduction of Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) bills by Garissa Township MP Aden Duale and Uasin Gishu Women Representative Gladys Boss Shollei, and an advisory from former Chief Justice David Maraga to have parliament dissolved for failure to enact the gender rule on September 21, 2020 — the House failed to act decisively.
The report, however, recognises the roles played by both women and youthful lawmakers. The National Assembly had 76 women MPs elected and nominated, while the Senate had four elected and 16 nominated.
“It was encouraging to see young members of Parliament develop laws that responded to pressing needs. It speaks to the power of representation of special groups,” says Caroline Gaita, Mzalendo Trust boss.
The report shows that the number of bills sponsored by women increased, compared with the previous Parliament. While the eleventh parliament passed a record 11 bills in the National Assembly and 14 in the Senate, this increased to 19 bills in the National assembly and 39 in the senate during the last Parliament.
Inclusion of women was evident as four were elected as chairpersons of various committees while two sat in the Speaker’s panel.