Dynamics of achieving the two third gender rule

What is the two third gender rule?

The two third gender rule is one of the affirmative actions enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya in Article 27(8) of the Bill of right to help enhance equality. The two third gender rule requires that not more than two thirds of any elective or appointive position in the government of Kenya shall be of the same gender. It’s enshrined in the devolution chapter and is principle electoral governance in Kenya as per Article 81(b) of the Constitution. The senate , national assembly , county assemblies , all cabinets ( national government and county Government , Boards , the judiciary , constitutional commission and all state offices are therefore bound by this rule .


Kenya is operating well even with the current representation. Why is it necessary to implement this rule?

Democracy thrives on several factors; key among them is equality and political tolerance. Equality therefore entails before the law, equality of opportunity in the realisation of individual capacities without regard to one’s race, gender, ethnic background or religion. We therefore must endeavour to create a society where men and women are equally involved in leadership. Demographic of the Kenyan population would lead us to equality however the Constitution guides us to start with the not more than two third as a form of affirmative action.

Most importantly balanced gender perspective is key to sustainable growth and development of our economy.

Why do women want free things? Shouldn’t we encourage women to vote instead of asking for nominations?

Nomination in Kenya is an electoral process and nominations ought to be conducted through proportional representation which is an election. Further to this we know that the basis of nominations and other affirmative action measure is to equip women to gain the requisite experience .Electing women is not about women’s representation but ensuring that the male and female perspective are included in policy formulation, budgeting and oversight The prioritisation of men and women benefit both men and women but if one gender is under represented it results in imbalanced prioritisation.

There are other formulas to achieve the two third gender principle; Why Formula 136?

Formula 136 encourages a bigger pool of women to contest elections and engage with the electoral process and its challenges. This is particularly for areas that historically, have had very low women participation. Formula 136 will change the political climate in Kenya in terms of women’s participation and citizenry. Formula 136 also gives equal recognition to the National government and the County government which is critical for the devolved system of government to operate.

How does the two third gender rule affect “Wanjiku”?

It helps Wanjiku to have a more balanced legislature. The legislative arm of government is critical in setting priorities and formulating policies and laws to guide holistic and sustainable development of Kenya.

Diana Gichengo
Author: Diana Gichengo
Programme Advisor KHRC

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