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Africa

Women call for sex ban over political impasse

Video by Olivia SALAZAR WINSPEAR

Latest update : 2009-05-01

Women's activist groups in Kenya have called for a seven-day sex boycott of the country's men in an attempt to force politicians to overcome the ongoing deadlock. The prime minister's wife, Ida Odinga (left), supports the boycott.

AFP - Women's activist groups in Kenya have called for a seven-day sex ban on the country's men in an attempt to shock the political class into overcoming bitter feuds and working together.
  
"This is a national boycott to show that the women of this country have resolved to push for reforms," Rukia Subow of Maendeleo ya Wanawake of the G10 umbrella of Kenyan women's organisations said late Wednesday.
  
The activists argued that the country's egocentric male leaders should have no time for matters of the flesh when the east African nation is ensnared in economic and political trouble.
  
The grouping even said it would pay prostitutes to join the strike.
  
"We want an urgent solution to the political problems facing this country," Subow said, urging the wives of quarreling coalition partners President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to support the movement.
  
The premier's wife, Ida Odinga, said she supported the strike body and soul.
  
"This should not be seen as a punishment to men, it is a measure that is aimed at drawing their attention to the real issues," she told AFP.
  
Patricia Nyaudi, executive director of the Federation of Women Lawyers, argued the initiative was more than just a media stunt and was aimed at promoting a stronger sense of sacrifice.
  
"Let people not end up trivialising this issue. It is a serious one and needs attention. The idea is to deny ourselves what we consider essential for the good of our country," she said.
  
Raila accused Kibaki of stealing the December 2007 presidential election, prompting protests that spiralled into a cycle of tribal violence and killed around 1,500 people.
  
The two rivals were pressured into a power-sharing deal by an international mediation but lingering tensions, petty disputes and individual appetites have crippled the coalition government and fueled wide popular discontent.

Date created : 2009-05-01

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