Kenya: Women suffer setback after MPs fail to pass gender bill

Kenyan women will have to seek other means to ensure fair representation in the National Assembly, after members of parliament shot down the gender bill for the second time.

The bill sought to implement Article 81 of the the country's constitution, which requires that not more than two-thirds of either gender is represented in both the Senate and National Assembly.

Despite a lot of lobbying by women MPs and women rights organisations, the bill failed to pass through to second reading.

According to the Daily Nation, only 178 MPs out of the required 233 voted for the bill, with majority choosing to abstain from voting.

Sixteen votes were cast against it, with Standard citing political intrigue, chauvinism and apathy as some of the reasons the bill could not garner enough support.

In April, the majority of MPs failed to show up in parliament when the bill was first brought up for the first reading.

This forced Speaker Justin Muturi to order a fresh vote, which also failed.
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