Public institutions will be required to submit annual reports to Parliament, providing comprehensive details on their adherence to diversity and equal opportunity standards, if a Bill seeking to promote diversity in the country is passed by MPs.
The Public Service (Values and Principles) (Amendment) Bill, sponsored by North Imenti MP Rahim Dawood, seeks to ensure that all institutions in the public sector adhere to the Constitutional provisions and requirements of diversity and inclusion.
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It also aims to uphold the Constitutional provisions on representation and equal opportunities for all citizens.
Dawood says that the proposed legislation focuses on promoting diversity in Kenya’s public service by ensuring fair representation and equal opportunity for all Kenyans.
He argues that the annual reports will be crucial in shedding light on details such as total number of employees, their gender distribution, age demographics, counties of birth, and counties of residence.
“By mandating entities to submit annual reports and promoting transparency in employment practices, this Bill strives to create a more inclusive and representative public service sector, aligning with the nation’s Constitutional values and principles,” says Dawood.
According to Dawood, with the making such data available, Parliament can therefore be able to address existing disparities and create a more balanced and inclusive public service sector.
“The primary objective of this Bill is to ensure that the public service reflects the rich diversity of Kenyan communities and provides equal opportunities for both men and women, individuals from all ethnic backgrounds, and persons with disabilities,” he says.
Dawood pointed out that despite the constitutional requirement that persons with disabilities make up five percent of the workforce, as of 2014, this number was barely at 1.5%, falling significantly short of the target.
Additionally, many institutions are failing to meet the two-third gender rule, with women being underrepresented at less than 30%.