Kenya is ranked position six in East African region in terms of women representation in parliament according to the latest figures.
Rwanda is leading the pack with 61 percent followed by Tanzania 36, Burundi 36, Uganda 34 and South Sudan at 28.5 percent.
This emerged during the opening ceremony of a three day retreat of the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOWPA) in Naivasha.
According to Senate speaker Ken Lusaka, the number of women in parliament was rising gradually and stands at 23.6 percent in both houses.
In a speech read on his behalf by Senator Professor Margaret Kamar, the speaker noted that after the promulgation of the new constitution, the number of women in parliament had risen from 20.6 to over 23 percent.
Kamar while praising KEWOPA for its role noted that women in politics continued to receive various challenges in their line of action.
“In confronting these challenges, you must enlist the support of your male counterparts through persuasive dialogue and articulation of key issue facing women,” she said.
The senator however expressed her concern over the implementation of the two third gender rule terming it as a major challenge.
National Assembly Deputy Speaker Moses Cheboi praised the rising number of women in parliament and the recent election of three women governors.
Cheboi was full of praise for women from pastoral areas who made it to the national assembly while Isiolo, Nakuru and Uasin Gishu elected three women senators.
“Kenya has had very few elected women in parliament for a long period but we are grateful that under the new constitution things have changed for the better,” he said.
The CS for Youth and Gender affairs Sicily Kariuki who graced the occasion termed as long the journey that the country’s women had undergone with violence metered against them.
She challenged the parliamentarians to work with other arms of the government so that the two third gender impasse could be resolved.
“As women we should work as one team so that we can address the challenges facing us and achieve various goals,” she said.
NARC-Kenya chairperson Martha Karua noted that the two third rule could be met if women parliamentarians set aside their differences.
“The country has come from far in terms of increasing the number of women in parliament and we should challenge both Jubilee and NASA leadership to make sure we achieve this,” she said.