Majority Leader Aden Duale is a man on a mission. A mission to increase the number of women in the Kenyan National Assembly. Is the majority leader in his right senses? Does he not see the already huge wage bill that Kenyans already have to bear?
That aside, Duale’s new proposal to increase the number of women in the national assembly could see numbers rise from the current 349 to 391. The majority leader has proposed an amendment to the Constitution to have more women nominated to the national assembly.
Those in the Senate could also increase but marginally to about 71 from the current 67 members that has 47 elected out of which three are women and 20 nominated- 16 women and four men.
Aden Duale’s constitution amendment bill is set for debate Tuesday. The bill proposes special nomination seats for women to be shared among political parties depending on the strength in Parliament.
The passage of the bill could see the country pay about Sh60 million in monthly salaries and other allowances to the nominated women Members of Parliament.
Mr Duale’s proposal is bound to raise opposition within Parliament and outside, in terms of the increasing public wage bill. But yesterday, Mr Duale was adamant that the law is a requirement in the Constitution.
“We need this law in place not because Mr Duale or whoever wants it, but because the Constitution demands that Parliament enacts it within a time-frame, which has lapsed. So we have no otherwise but to abide,” Mr Duale said.
Article 81 (b) provides that not more than two-thirds of the members of elective public bodies- among them parliament, shall be of the same gender.
Currently, the National Assembly has 75 women MPs- 22 elected from the 290 constituencies in the last election, six nominated in the 12 nomination slots while 47 were elected from the counties in the spirit of affirmative action.
There are already calls and push for a new referendum to have the number of elected representatives in the country reduced. Those supporting the push have argued that the cost of running the 2010 Constitution was too much, and should be addressed.
Duale’s new proposal seem to be a slap on the face of those opposing calls for a new referendum and it is surely going to set the National Assembly on Fire. Kenyans are also likely to have a say on the matter that is meant to siphon more millions from their already dry pockets.
Do you Support Calls by Aden Duale to increase the number of Women in the National Assembly?