KAMPALA – Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has promised to hold talks with her counterpart of the Kenyan Parliament hinged on the treatment and welfare of female MPs following reports that one MP was thrown out for bringing her baby to the chambers.
It should be recalled that in August 2019, a section of female MPs walked out of Kenya’s Parliament in solidarity with a colleague who was ordered to leave because she had taken her baby.
According to media reports, Zuleika Hassan defended her decision to bring her five-month-old baby with her to work because of a domestic emergency and that parliament didn’t have a crèche, but her decision is said to have contravened the rules of Parliament that bars strangers from accessing chambers.
Although the female MPs supported her decision, the male colleagues described her actions as shameful prompting Speaker Christopher Omulele to order Hassan out of the chamber and said that she could return without the baby.
Now Kadaga Kadaga has lashed out at how the top managers of Kenyan Parliament treat their female legislators pointing out a scenario where female legislators weren’t allowed to enter chambers with their handbags.
“Recently, we learnt that female MPs were not allowed to go with handbags in chambers. We told them that let all of you walk into the chambers with your bags, they all walked in and chased all of them but we told them to go and do an act of defiance. They later changed their rules,” said Kadaga.
She added, “On the issue of that MP with the baby in the chamber, I will talk to the Kenyan Speaker, he is a friend of mine. I am going to talk to him about daycare center. Our Ministry of Gender had directed all government institutions to have daycare Centres, we will need our Gender, Labour Committee to do some oversight and see who is complying or not so that we help women do our work well.”
The Speaker made the remarks today while addressing guests at the 5th Women’s Forum of the national prayer breakfast held at Pearl of Africa Hotel in Kampala.