Members of Parliament yesterday debated the proposed amendments in the 2006 organic law establishing internal rules of the Chamber of Deputies.
The amendments were tabled and defended by Deputy Speaker in Charge of Political Affairs, Denis Polisi.
Some of the key instruments in the new bill that sparked off debate include merging the Gender and Family Promotion committee with that of Social affairs to form the Committee on Gender, Family Promotion and Social Affairs.
Hon. Euthalie Nyirabega raised concerns over the proposed merger.
“If we merge the gender committee and that of social affairs, one of them will outweigh the other yet they are both important,” she said.
Her intervention was immediately backed by the majority of the female MPs who insisted that Gender Unit should remain independent.
The response was that that merging the committees was, on one hand, a matter of choice. “We based it on the principle of reducing the number of committees and increasing the number of MPs who form a committee. It is in this line of thinking; choosing which committee had similarities and proposed the merger,” said, the Deputy Speaker.
He however assured MPs that gender promotion is a priority policy in the government and that there shouldn’t be any reason why it would be forgotten.
“Promoting gender is not about setting up a committee, it’s having clear policies in place and having the political will to implement those policies,” Polisi assured the MPs.
Some of the changes proposed in the bill include merging the Standing Committee on Security and Territorial Integrity into the Political Affairs committee to form the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Political Affairs and National Security among others.