Assessing realization of gender rule in parliament: in light of the political history of Kenya and the advisory opinion no. 2 of the supreme court of Kenya .
Women in Kenya have struggled historically to be included in politics. For a long time, women’s rights have been sidelined because the male population have been the majority players in politics. Furthermore, the society is yet to accept women as capable of taking up leadership roles as they are still influenced by the patriarchal views embedded in the Kenyan culture. With time, women became aware of their inherent right to equal treatment and began to fight to be included. They did so by forming women movements and running as aspiring election candidates in elections. The likes of Martha Karua and Phoebe Asiyo tabled several affirmative action bills in order to increase the number of women in parliament. This push from female politicians and other factors that shall be discussed in this study led to the inclusion of the two-thirds gender rule in the new Constitution of Kenya. The realization of this rule was not outlined clearly thus causing havoc for parliament as they were unable to meet this threshold and feared being deemed unconstitutional. It has been five years since the last general election and parliament has not implemented any bills that would realize the two-thirds rule. This study was thus conducted to assess the capability of realizing the two-thirds gender rule in parliament in light of the factors such as looming male superiority in parliament, political parties’ dynamics, the political history of Kenya and the nature of this rule. The study shows that political parties play a critical role in determining the number of both men and women in parliament as they are involved in the nomination process. Furthermore, the study notes that Kenya still has patriarchal notions embedded in its society. In order to realize the two-thirds rule, the study suggests that there be a legal quota for political parties. That is, political parties be subjected to a minimum threshold of the number of women and men they can be nominated to compete in elections. Furthermore, the constitution should be amended to shed clarity on the nature of the two-thirds rule and ways of implementing this rule.