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KENYA: Female Lawmaker Thrown out Of Parliament For Bringing In Babay

By Published August 09, 2019

Proceedings in the Kenya National Assembly was were temporarily brought to a standstill when some male and female legislators staged a walk out in solidarity with Kwale Representative, Zuleika Hassan was ordered by Speaker Christopher Omuelele to withdraw from the chambers for bringing her five-month-old baby to the chambers.

Christopher Omulele, ordered Ms Hassan to withdraw from the chamber after she turned up to sitting with her baby in contravention of the rule which forbids ‘strangers’ – including children in the is not the right place to take care of her child.

Some male and the women lawmakers in support of Ms Hassan urged her to stay put causing a standstill within the chambers.

The speaker then called the sergeant-at-arms to evict Ms Hassan who by then was being shielded by her female counterparts.

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

Deputy speaker Moses Cheboi said in a statement said that there is a facility in parliament for mothers to nurse their babies.

However, mothers have to "bring along their nannies to watch over the babies at the facility while they undertake their official duties".

But Ms Hassan said there is no ‘’baby-friendly atmosphere" in the chambers "I have 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 crèche, I would be able to put my baby there." she said.

In 2017, Kenyan lawmakers passed a bill compelling employers to construct special rooms where mothers could breastfeed and change their babies.

Ms Hassan's supporters have condemned her treatment which comes during World Breastfeeding week.

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