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Drama as Woman MP thrown out of parliament chambers for entering with baby

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IN SUMMARY

  • MPs in 2013 passed a motion directing the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) to set aside a room within parliament for breastfeeding mothers but that has not been done six years later.
  • Ijara MP Sophia Abdi Noor said it is unfortunate that such an incident can happen in Parliament where laws are made, wondering what is happening to mothers outside there.

Morning proceedings of the National Assembly in the Kenyan Parliament were temporarily brought to standstill after Kwale Woman representative Zuleika Hassan got into the chambers with her five-month-old baby.

Standing speaker for the day, Christopher Omulele, ordered Ms Hassan to withdraw from the chamber saying it is not the right place to take care of her child.

A section of male MPs and the women lawmakers however supported Ms Hassan urging her to stay put, causing a standoff within the chambers.

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

“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.

EMERGENCY

Addressing the press after leaving the chambers, Ms Hassan in company of other female MPs said she got an emergency this morning and had to come with the baby to parliament.

“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.

MPs in 2013 passed a motion directing the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) to set aside a room within parliament for breastfeeding mothers but that has not been done six years later.

Ijara MP Sophia Abdi Noor said it is unfortunate that such an incident can happen in Parliament where laws are made, wondering what is happening to mothers outside there.

CHILD’S RIGHT

“This child has a right, if they don’t establish a breastfeeding room then we will urge all women with breastfeeding children to come with their children in the chambers so as to send a message,” Ms Noor said.

Kitui South MP Rachel Nyamai questioned why the Parliamentary Service Commission has failed to give priority to young mothers who are breastfeeding several years after it was passed.

“This child has a right to be with the mother and we don’t understand why she is being sent away,” Ms Nyamae said.

Laikipia North legislator Sarah Korere accused PSC of ignoring the plights pf breastfeeding mothers saying exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is very important.

“Lawmakers must lead by example and today we are saying enough is enough,” Ms Korere said.

AGENCIES

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