Gender and Governance

In the history of major economies, a point comes when the need to assess legal education against national needs arises.

This is the point at which Justice Rosalie Wahl of the Minnesota Supreme Court and Chair of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education asked of the United States’ system:

Have we really tried in law school to determine what skills, what quality of mind, are required of lawyers? Are we adequately educating students through the content and methodology of our present law school curriculums to perform effectively as lawyers after graduation?

A couple of weeks ago when I crossed through the Tanzania and Kenya boarder at Namanga town, I overheard a man teasing a woman cross-border trader that she was not likely to get married because of the nature of business she is engaging in.

To me, this statement was not a joke albeit the innocent manner in which it was made. It was a manifestation of deep-rooted stereotypes about women who engage in cross-border trade. And which has made it very difficult for them to be respected for what they do and their contribution to the economies of their country to go uncounted.

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Tabitha Karanja

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Tabitha Karanja, CEO of Keroche Breweries at her office. She has 

ventured into a business that has always been seen as a man’s territory. Picture: George MurageEntrepreneur dares to tread only where men walk

It is not always that one will find a woman running a major industry as an entrepreneur. Women are known for going for small businesses that require minimum capital as they lack access to credit and loan facilities.

This has been a limiting factor that has seen major industries dominated by men and women hanging outside the loop of major entrepreneurship.

It was a disappointing and dark day for women in Kenya as the High Court, sitting as a constitutional court dismissed the petition for an injunction by Fida stopping the swearing in of five Supreme Court judges as unreasonable and misguided.

The court was fully packed with hundreds of women activists and members of different civil societies who attentively listened to the three bench judges comprising Justices John Mwera, Mohamed Wasame and Philomena Mwilu.

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This Cabinet has used and dumped women

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By deciding that the two third principle cannot work especially with relation to women’s representation, this 

Cabinet and Government is behaving like a Cassanova that will only use and dump. They have used the women to achieve their agenda and are now dumping them. What a shame.As we woke up to the World Humanitarian Day, dark clouds hang over Kenya as the Cabinet decided to renege on the issue of the not more than two thirds principle of the same gender taking elective and public positions.

The road to Constitution making in this country has been long and windy. There have been many bumps and potholes that have threatened to derail the making of new laws in Kenya.

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From the South with a message of peace

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Naomi Tutu, Naomi Tutu walks in the shadows of her father

Her father has a pocket full of prestigious awards, she too appears destined for a handful of crowns to make true the saying like father, like daughter.

The third born of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife Nomalizo Leah, Naomi Tutu, is a passionate advocate for peace and human rights. She chose to walk her father’s path, albeit on a different front.

As politicians are positioning themselves for the next General Elections in Kenya which will be done under the new constitution, one of the issues which have been given the pride of place in the entire struggle of the new constitution is the place of women.

In that the question of women’s representation in any elective post will be the defining moment during the 2012 General Elections.

One African country is ahead of United States of America because it has a woman president. It is a small country lying on the West Coast of Africa. It is called Liberia.

This country has a woman President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who became first woman in Africa to be head of State in 2006. During a public lecture where she was to speak on how far Liberia has come since the war ended almost five years ago, a question was posed to her on why there are few women heads of state? Sirleaf, laughed and said we should ask the United States of America why there has never been a woman president in the super power.

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More women aspire for top country position

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Michelle Bachman (Photo courtesy)There is a lot of excitement bubbling around me as I sit at the Communications Consortium Media Centre.

There are many women in the news and I wish this would stay with us for long. One woman is going for the presidency while another has been appointed to handle money matters at the International Monetary Fund.

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