FIDA-Kenya has said that it has noted with concern the attempts to disparage women who seek public positions, more so the women seeking the positions of Chief Justice and Judge of the Supreme Court of Kenya.
In its statement on Wednesday, Fida chairperson Nancy K. Ikinu said that the move by the Council members of the Law Society of Kenya to challenge the candidacy of some of the women seeking the CJ position is a matter of concern, saying that it does not reflect the position of the Law Society of Kenya.
“We are concerned about the prevalence of disparaging and unfounded allegations against women who compete for public positions in Kenya. These tactics are designed to insulate male candidates from competing on merit, effectively winnowing down the list of candidates by tarnishing the most qualified candidates,” part of the statement read.
At the same time, the federation has said that the CJ’s post is not by law reserved for a man.
“We wish to note for the record that the position of the Chief Justice is not by law reserved for a man. There is no legal bar to a woman Chief Justice, should she be the most qualified person for the position.”
Fida is also urging the Judicial Service Commission and all public institutions to ensure recruitment processes do not marginalise women and to be particularly cognizant of last-minute attempts to disparage women candidates.
It has also expressed its confidence that a fair and impartial evaluation of the expertise, capabilities, and capacity of the candidates shortlisted for CJ and Judge positions would result in a historically constituted Supreme Court.
“We urge the JSC to reject these desperate underhanded attempts to hijack public participation to skew the recruitment process to deny highly qualified and competitive female candidates an equal opportunity to seek public office to make way for less competitive candidates.”
JSC has invited the public to access information on ten shortlisted candidates for the CJ post and judges.
They include Justice Said Chitembwe, Prof Patricia Mbote, Justice Martha Koome, Justice Marete Njagi, Philip Murgor, Justice Nduma Nderi, Fred Ngatia, Justice William Ouko, Dr Wekesa Moni, and Alice Yano.
Those shortlisted for the Supreme Court judge position include; Justice Said Chitembwe, Justice Martha Koome, Justice M’inoti Kathurima, Justice Nduma Nderi, Lumumba Nyaberi, Justice William Ouko, Justice Joseph Sergon, and Alice Yano.
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