NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HOSTS THE EAST AFRICA WOMEN’S LEAGUE
The National Assembly played host to the East Africa Women’s League during today’s afternoon session. The Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Moses Wetang’ula welcomed the Women’s League and lauded them for their continued effort in advocating for women’s rights.
The East Africa Women's League was founded in 1917 with a primary goal of advocating for women’s right to vote and their involvement in creating laws that impact women and girls. The league has grown to include over 1000 women from diverse races, cultures and religions who are organized into branches throughout Kenya.
During his welcome address, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Moses Wetang’ula stated that in 1964, members of the Women’s League presented tapestries to the Government of Kenya. The tapestries were passed on to the legislature and have since been permanently displayed along the walls of walkways of the National Assembly outside Committee Rooms 7, 8 and 9.
The Speaker said, “The women present here are descendants of the women of valor who fought relentlessly for the democratic rights of women to participate in the political process in our country. The tapestries not only remind us of our country’s past but also of our role as a supreme law-making body in fostering welfare and unity among the people of the Republic of Kenya.”
Hon. Kimani Ichung’wah who is Leader of the Majority Party in the National Assembly, praised the Women’s League for their efforts in advocating for women’s rights to vote in Kenya. He stated that women make up the largest voting block in the country therefore advocating for their rights, benefits society as a whole and not just women. Hon. Ichung’wah expressed a willingness to collaborate with all women and urged the Women’s League to work with male legislators in their constituencies to ensure the passage of the two-thirds gender rule. He said this would guarantee that women not only have the right to vote but also have representation in Government, reflecting the wider population of the Kenyan people.
Hon. Martha Wangari (Gilgil) highlighted the progress made by the Women’s League, which has enabled women in Kenya to not only participate as voters, but also run for elective offices. She expressed her appreciation for the constitutional prvisions that have ensured affirmative action, resulting in 102 women holding seats in both the National Assembly and Senate.
Tharaka Member of Parliament, Hon. Gitonga Murugara, urged the Women’s league to extend their endeavors to the rural constituencies, emphasizing the importance of providing guidance and empowerment to women residing in those areas.
Hon. Jared Okello (Nyando) said, "Women play a very pivotal role to the economic and democratization process of our country. Our Nation will be better if women are given all the rights they are fighting for. I appreciate the Women’s League for not losing hope while fighting for women’s rights for over a century.”