Equality and Non-Discrimination under the Constitution of Kenya: Have we progressed or regressed?
Kenya promulgated its much-awaited Constitution on 27 August 2010. It turns 10 on 27 August 2020. 10 years form a good period to test whether the Constitution has achieved the transformation sought by the people. In this spirit, Strathmore Law School (SLS), in partnership with civil society organizations (ICJ-Kenya, Kituo Cha Sheria, Bonavero among others), has been hosting weekly webinars on each Chapter of the Constitution. The webinars have been enlightening participants on the history of the constitution, its content, the laws, the cases, and policies that have been passed to execute the constitution.
During the recent webinar titled: Equality and non-discrimination as a fundamental right in our Bill of Rights. Mr. Evans Ogada began his discussions on the failure of the state to fully implement this imperative. On the other hand, Commissioner Lawrence Mute and Hon. Isaac Mwaura assessed the extent to which we have put in place sufficient measures to ensure that persons with disability
- Are treated with dignity,
- can access educational institutions,
- can access public places including public transport and information,
- are entitled to use sign language, braille, and other appropriate means of communication, and
- can access materials and devices to overcome constraints arising from their disability.
Ms. Ikal Ang’elei, the founder of Friends of Lake Turkana, provided an exposition on the extent we have put in place for sufficient programmes to ensure that marginalized groups.
- Participate in governance,
- are provided with special opportunities in educational and economic fields,
- are provided with special opportunities for access to employment,
- develop their cultural values, languages, and practices, and
- have reasonable access to water, health services, and infrastructure.
Ms. Daisy Amdani assessed the extent to which the country has implemented the principle that states, not more than two-thirds of the members of elective and appointive bodies, shall be of the same gender in the National Assembly, Senate, Cabinet, county assemblies, and county executive committees. It was clear that there was a concerted effort by our National Assembly not to implement a legislative framework that will ensure the effective implementation of this constitutional imperative.
The webinar concluded with a deep appreciation of the transformative form that our constitution embodies and that we must constantly strive to ensure that we implement our progressive constitution. It will be a difficult journey, but we must continue to strive.
This article was written by Abdullahi Abdirhaman, Editorial Assistant at the Strathmore University Press and Arnold Nciko Wa Nciko, Graduate Assistant at SLS.
This week’s webinar will be held on Tuesday 11th August and will be on Land and Environment. Look out for the registration details.
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