WOMEN Rights activists have urged the President to observe and uphold the two third gender rule in his next Cabinet appointments.

The women, drawn from various regions, political affiliations and professional backgrounds said the President should at-least consider a 50-50 share when appointing new Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Ambassadors and also at the parastatal level.

The cabinet as is currently constituted has 18 men and 5 women – 15 male Cabinet Secretaries, an Attorney General who is male and 5 female Cabinet Secretaries.

The five women in the Cabinet are Sicily Kariuki (Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs), Raychelle Omamo (Defence), Phyllis Kandie (East African Community, Labour and Social Protection), Amina Mohammed (Foreign Affairs and Trade) and Prof Judi Wakhungu (Environment).

The women who spoke at a Nairobi Hotel yesterday said there is a calculated and sustained effort to exclude women’s participation and erode their rights and the hard won gains enshrined in the constitution.

“We have however forwarded a judgment to the Attorney General and the Office of the President which requires him to honor the two third gender principle. We are yet to receive a response from his office but we know our issues will be put into considerations,” they said.

In regards to Kenya’s political situation, the women said the country should urgently deal with issues of electoral injustices for the sake of future elections.

They are convinced that the present crisis cannot be comprehensively resolved without the active participation of women.

“The prolonged electioneering process has polarized the nation and left Kenyan citizens in a state of uncertainty. It is our firm belief that the August 8 elections raise fundamental issues that need to be discussed but there is no sense of urgency amongst the relevant stakeholders to highlight and address them,” read their joint statement.

They further called for immediate cessation of all political grandstanding and the violent suppression of the constitutionally guaranteed right of assembly, expression and association.

They also called for immediate establishment of a framework for an all inclusive national dialogue and reconciliation process to address the current political crisis and the long term outstanding issues as outlined

“We further want accountability and appropriate remedies and reparations for the crimes and human rights violations committed during the political crisis by all relevant state and political actors,” read their statement.