Gender Bill to hurt men, Mandera elders protest

A section of Mandera elders have criticised the Gender Bill proposed by National Assembly Leader of Majority Aden Duale.

The Bill, which was tabled in Parliament on Wednesday for its first reading, received overwhelming support by MPs.

Abdilatif Haji, the chairman of the County Livestock Marketing Council and resident of Mandera town said the Bill is uncalled for and meant to reduce male numbers in leadership positions.

Haji spoke to the press in Mandera town yesterday. He said the trend would erode the gains achieved after the promulgation of the Constitution in 2010.

He said unlike the ‘dark ages’ of the early post-independent Kenya, women’s rights have been scaled up, allowing them to have 47 representatives in the Senate.

“We have 47 women MPs plus others who were nominated to reduce the gender inequality. It is now becoming too much . The demands on women’s issues are at the expense of male leaders, “ said Haji.

He urged women to work hard in their elected positions to woo voters to elect them in a competitive political positions.

Sophia of PDR is the first woman from North Eastern to be elected to Parliament.
Noor won the seat after edging out incumbent Ahmed Ibrahim Abass. She polled 6, 001 while Abass got 5,705 votes.

If the Bill passes,the number of National Assembly legislators could increase to 391 from the current 349.

Those in the Senate could also increase, but marginally to about 71 from the current 67 members.

The Bill proposes special nomination seats for women to be shared among political parties depending on their strength in Parliament.

This could see the country pay about Sh60 million in monthly salaries and other allowances.

Many communities in North Eastern hold conservative views based on their religion and culture on women leadership.

Until the election of Noor, no woman in North Eastern had ever held an elective position since Kenya’s independence.

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