In 2007, women in Kenya set up a campaign in support of a Cabinet bill No. 32 that seeks to increase the representation of women in parliament by 50 seats through a Constitutional Amendment. Recalling that previous attempts to pass affirmative action in Parliament had borne no fruits, it is important to support this bill in order to secure a legislative framework that guarantees a women’s quota in Parliament.
The signatures were part of a wider strategy for securing a legislative framework that guarantees the women’s quota in Parliament, although if passed, it would not lead to the agreed national quota of at least 30 percent representation for women at all levels of women. By continental standards, Kenya is still far behind the African Union recommendation of 50 percent representation for women.
At least 40 women’s organizations were organized around a National Steering Committee and a National Women’s Negotiating Team for this struggle and also through the Gender and Governance Programme. Consultative meetings were held with women leaders and political party leaders.Requests were written to religious leaders asking for support and prayers.
The air at Kamukunji grounds is pregnant with a repugnant smell and the adjacent slums testament to the poverty livid in this region but the residents have an agenda and not even these circumstances can deter them.
They are here to witness the 1,000,000 Signature Campaign in support of the proposed 50 parliamentary seats for women.