There was drama at the National Assembly yesterday when Kwale Women representative Zulekha Hassan was kicked out of chambers for coming to the parliamentary proceedings with her baby.
When asked why she did it, she stated that due to an emergency, there had been no other option but to come to work with the 5-month old child. She lamented the lack of a nursery or creche within parliament building where she could leave her child.
Zulekha was ordered to leave by the deputy speaker who was relying on the house rule, which states that strangers are not allowed inside the chambers, including children. Female legislators present also chose to walk out with her in solidarity.
Kenyan Lawmaker Zulekha Hassan was ordered out of Parliament today when she arrived with a baby.
Ms Hassan stated that she did not have a choice due to an emergency & that the issue wld not have arisen if childcare facilities were available at Parliament. pic.twitter.com/XHE97baIlZ
— Evangeline Karimi Hamilton Mkenya (@Evangelinekari5) August 7, 2019
The live proceedings which were broadcast on KBC sparked a lot of interest. Kenyans on Twitter were quick to condemn the action and call for changes in how female lawmakers with children were treated within parliament.
Kicking out Kwale women Rep Zulekha Hassan out of the Parliament just because of breastfeeding her child was a stupid decision. The Speaker of the National Assembly should attend Civilization classes. NKT ! pic.twitter.com/UMYQzdgntI
— Collins Ntonja 🇰🇪 (@Its_Ntonja) August 7, 2019
Even our female legislators are mothers and others like Kwale Women Rep Zulekha Hassan at this point in time are lactating. Chasing her out of the parliament for bringing her baby is unfair. Legislators across the world bring their children to parliament. https://t.co/e60FSjTt2z
— Njeri Mwangi (@sanjemwangi) August 7, 2019
Featured Image Courtesy: Daily Nation