In a bid to foster the participation of more women in elective political positions, especially at the parliament, Africa nations have been tasked to preserve exclusive seats for them.
Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Kenya, Justin Muturi, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen after presiding over the First Executive Committee of the 51st Conference on Thursday in Abuja.
Muturi who is also the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Africa Region, urged African leaders to emulate the system that operates in Kenya where 47 seats of Parliament are reserved for women.
He explained that the 47 seats were drawn from each of the 47 counties that make up the Kenya National Assembly.
The speaker also harped on youth inclusion in the affairs of government in Africa, saying, ‘those were the enduring values of the Commonwealth.’
He, however, stressed that Commonwealth Parliament would not impose its propositions on any country, adding that the body would continue to push for its adoption in Africa and by other member countries.
“There is an issue of women representation in parliament in many parts of the world, not just Africa. What we need to do is to encourage people, as many as possible, to participate in electoral politics.
“It has been a big problem for us, especially in Kenya, to get women to participate in politics.
“So, when we meet with our colleagues from the rest of the continent, we try to share their experiences on how to have more women participating in electoral politics.
“We need to look into what we should do to encourage them to come out and participate. Sometimes, we go for affirmative actions,” he said.
He explained that the reservation of 47 seats for women in Kenya had brought about more women participation, adding that besides the reserved seats, 24 more women also won other seats through the normal process.
According to her, there are currently 71 women representatives in parliament out of a total of 349 seats.
On youth inclusion in government, Hon. Muturi advised that it was imperative for youths to participate so that the wrong leaders would not be elected.
“We have held a number of seminars and conferences with the youths across the continent, where we bring them together to encourage them to participate in their own governance.
“If you do not participate, you can not blame those that have been elected that they are not good, because, by not participating, you are actually participating in electing the bad ones,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Executive Committee of CPA, on Wednesday also had in attendance, Speakers of Parliament in other African countries and their representatives, including, Rep Femi Gbajabiamila of Nigeria’s House of Representatives.