Kenya's Catholic women take their government to task

 Kenyan Catholic women have cautioned the current crop of Kenyan parliamentarians for their failure to perform their parliamentary duties effectively. They warned that they have the voting power to remove them from office unless they begin behaving more responsibly. At a national convention for Catholic women, held at Nairobi's Nyayo National stadium on Saturday, titled: 'Women, The Peace Makers' the national coordinator for Catholic women's associations, Mrs Jane Ndung'u pointed out that while the government were quick to hike up their own mileage allowance, they had stalled on a proposed Sexual Offences Bill. "They (Parliamentarians) are so concerned about their welfare while issues such as rape and other sexual harassment to girls and women are fast becoming secondary to them," she further told an estimated crowd of 5,000 Catholic women. Mrs Ndung'u gave the address before a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Selasius Mugambi. She said the parliamentarians risked losing their parliamentary seats before next year's general elections, unless they changed and took their duties seriously. "We could as well be forced to use our numerical powers," she said. (A large percentage of kenya's voters are women. Earlier this month, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki was reported to have criticized parliamentarians for their poor performance. This has meant that fewer ills than usual have been debated. In his homily, Bishop Mugambi, who leads Meru diocese and is chairman of the Pastoral and Lay Apostolate Commission of the Kenyan Bishops Conference, observed that: "there has been a lot of areas, where women rights have been violated, citing, and the modern and traditional laws. The time has come when we should take women on an equal footing with men." Bishop Mugambi, referred to the need to improve areas such as women's education. He urged the Church to be always at the frontline in speaking against issues that dehumanize womenfolk, in the Church and the secular world. he concluded by thanking the women for their decision to set aside a day off for prayers, stressing that their action was in line with the teachings of the Church.

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