By Lawrence Sita.
Kwale County, Kenya – After years of anticipation, the long-awaited gender-based bill has finally been passed by the Kwale County Assembly.
This historic achievement makes Kwale the fourth county in the country to pass such legislation, following in the footsteps of Nairobi, Vihiga, and Kisumu.
The bill, which was first introduced in 2016 during the first devolution circle, faced numerous challenges and setbacks.
Despite its initial failure to pass in the 2017-2022 cycle, the bill gained momentum and was successfully supported by the majority of Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) during a session chaired by Honorable Rachael Mutisyo on Tuesday 17th October, 2023.
The passage of this bill is a result of the relentless efforts made by various stakeholders, including the County Executive Committee Member (CECM) of Social Services and Talent Management, Francisca Kilonzo.
Kilonzo, who tirelessly championed the cause, held various meetings and engagements to build consensus among the MCAs and garner support for the bill.
The bill’s success marks a significant step towards achieving gender equality and empowering women in Kwale County.
It aims to address various issues, including gender-based violence, discrimination, and unequal access to opportunities.
By enshrining these principles into law, the bill seeks to create a more inclusive and equitable society for all residents of Kwale County.
The bill is now awaiting the signature of Governor Fatuma Achani to become law.
Once signed, the legislation will provide a legal framework for the implementation of policies and programs that promote gender equality, protect women’s rights, and address gender-based violence in Kwale County.