December 18th 2017

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Senator Ongera causes stir at legislative congress in Mombasa

Nominated Senator Janet Ongera caused a stir at the inaugural summit for senators and members of the county assemblies when she took a place at the podium despite not being listed as a speaker.

By Free Press Correspondentnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comSaturday, 28 May 2016 11:30 EAT

Nominated Senator Janet Ongera caused a stir at the inaugural summit for senators and members of the county assemblies when she took a place at the podium despite not being listed as a speaker. Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro, noting the ire in Ongera’s face, gave her a chance to speak, but the gesture to Ongera was too little too late for women leaders who felt slighted by the little recognition they were accorded at the conference.

There was not a single woman listed as a speaker in the official opening session of the Inaugural Legislative Summit. “This is a historical moment that women cannot be excluded from,” said Ongera, who is deputy minority leader in the Senate. This comes a few weeks after the National Assembly failed to pass the Constitution Amendment Bill, 2015 which sought to ensure that no gender occupies more than two-thirds of the Parliamentary seats, causing a storm among women in the country.

The female legislators on Tuesday said their male counterparts treat them as second class leaders, a matter that caused a storm in the summit. County Assemblies Forum vice chair Susan Kihika said she was ‘disgusted’ to see how women are treated in Kenya. "Do we have to beg to be given a chance to speak in this forum? Do I have to bring my ‘kiherehere’ to be allowed to speak here despite being the CAF vice chair?” posed Kihika.

The women MCAs and Senators in the summit broke into ‘Bado Mapambano’ the political rallying song, to highlight their grievances against their male counterparts.

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