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Kenya High Court gives Parliament 60 days to ensure a third of lawmakers are Women

Kenya's 2010 constitution guarantees women a third of seats in parliament, but its male-dominated assembly has repeatedly frustrated efforts to pass legislation needed to enact the quota

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The Kenyan parliament is seen, as President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses two Houses — the Senate and the National Assembly in Nairobi, March 26, 2015, VOA file images
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Nairobi, April 4, 2017: Kenyan activists on Monday welcomed a High Court ruling giving parliament 60 days to ensure a third of lawmakers are women or face dissolution.

The ruling follows a lengthy struggle to increase women’s political representation in the patriarchal society.

Kenya’s 2010 constitution guarantees women a third of seats in parliament, but its male-dominated assembly has repeatedly frustrated efforts to pass legislation needed to enact the quota.

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“The ruling is good for women who, because of patriarchal cultural backgrounds, cannot effectively compete with men,” Josephine Mongare, chairwoman of the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA), told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “This is the nearest we have come to the two-thirds constitutional requirement.”

Women vying for office in Kenya frequently face violence and intimidation in a country where women in politics are frowned upon. They also often lack the political clout and money to get nominated by the major parties.

Kenya, which heads to the polls in August, has East Africa’s lowest representation of women in parliament at 19 percent, compared to 61 percent in Rwanda and 38 percent in Ethiopia, the Geneva-based International Parliamentary Union says.

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Three previous attempts to get the bill passed have failed, with male lawmakers walking out of the chamber in May when it was time to vote.

Last week’s High Court ruling came after several rights groups sued Kenya’s parliamentary speakers and attorney general for missing a 2016 deadline to implement the law.

“It is disheartening that none of the political players is taking any action,” said Patricia Nyaundi, chief executive of the state-funded Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, one of the groups behind the case.

“One would hope that the president and the leader of opposition would prevail upon their members to enact the law,” she added.

But Nairobi-based constitutional lawyer Patrick Wanyama said the court victory may be too late to make a difference.

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The 60-day ultimatum expires in late May, just over a month before parliament dissolves for August elections.

“We are trying to solve a political problem using the law,” he said, as male politicians remain steadfastly opposed to the quota for women. “Sometimes this does not work.” (VOA)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)