Monday, June 24, 2024

Kenya: Lactating MP with baby thrown out of parliament

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

There was drama in the Kenyan National Assembly on Wednesday when a lactating legislator was forced out of the chamber.

The Presiding Speaker Chris Omulele asked orderlies to throw out Kwale Woman representative, Zulekha Hassan for entering the chambers with her 5- month old son.

The legislator had opposed the speaker’s action arguing that she came to breastfeed the baby while attending to the house business.

“I had an emergency and decided not to miss work but come with the baby. She is not an atomic bomb and can’t explode,” Ms. Hassan said in her defense.

Hassan added that she “tried really hard not to come with the baby, but today I had an emergency; what was I supposed to do? If parliament had a nursery or a creche, I would be able to put my baby there.”

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But the speaker ordered that she be thrown out, ruling that the chamber is not the right place to do it.

“As much as she has a right to take care of her child, this not the right place, I therefore direct that you immediately withdraw from the chambers,” Mr Omulele insisted.

Female MPs walked out of the parliament chamber in solidarity with Zulekha Hassan.

Kenyan MPs in 2013 passed a motion directing the Parliamentary Service Commission to provide a room for breastfeeding mothers but that has not been done.




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