, NAIROBI, Kenya, April 30 – A call by women activists for a nationwide seven-day sex boycott has drawn sharp reactions, with a men lobby group terming it a violation of men’s fundamental rights.
The Maendeleo Ya Wanaume group criticised the lobbyists for turning sex into a political bargaining tool, saying it was morally wrong.
“Just imagine if it is men who said they are boycotting sex with their partners. Women would be on the streets today (Thursday),” Chairman and Founder of Maendeleo Ya Wanaume Nderitu Njoka told Capital News.
Mr Njoka stressed that it was ridiculous for women lobby groups to “sit, imagine and reach such a decision because it was totally baseless.”
“They are trying to use sex as a tool to molest men in the society,” he protested.
On Wednesday, women lobbyists under the umbrella of G10 – a consortium for women lobby groups – urged all the women to stage a countrywide sex boycott with their partners as a way of pushing for reforms.
“This sex boycott is to take place with effect from today (Wednesday) and will continue for the next seven days,” said Carol Agengo who read the statement on behalf of the women’s coalition.
Rukia Subow, the Chairperson of Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organisation (MYWO) said: “It takes two to tango; we all know that, so if men are satisfied by ignoring the failed leadership, we as the women are saying we are not satisfied and we will not sit back.”
But the lobby group representing men sees the latest move by the women as ‘intimidating to men’.
“They (women) are not introducing anything new to the society. For a long time now, women have been denying men their rights whenever they want to make a point. It is time this came to an end,” Mr Njoka said.
“We know of a lot of men who have been denied their conjugal rights for a long time now. So, whatever these women are saying is nothing new to us. It is only that they are going public.”
The Chairman of the National Community Based Organisation (CBO) Tom Aosa however supported the women’s demands.
“If this will help push for reforms, definitely we will support it. We are not opposed to any move that can help Kenyans achieve the much anticipated reforms,” he told Capital News.
While announcing the sex boycott on Wednesday, the women said their latest move would help President Mwai Kibaki and his coalition partner Prime Minister Raila Odinga to ‘wake up and act’.
“Extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures and G10 is calling for women across the country to go on a sex boycott to protest the poor and unruly leadership and also demand that the two Principals take control and lead this country to its desired destiny,” Ms Agego said.
“We have looked at all issues that can help bring people to talk together and we saw that sex is one of them. We are not using it as a punishment in the households instead of sex we will be discussing our country,” she added.
The women said they had the support of both the President’s wife First Lady Lucy Kibaki and the Prime Minister’s wife Ida Odinga.
“This is a well planned thing so it will continue for as long as Kenyans are focusing on what leadership we want. It is no secret that the two First Ladies in this country are very gender sensitive people and we have reached out to them and they are in game.”
A section of Kenyans who were interviewed disagreed with the proposal saying it would only bring disharmony in most homes.
“It will definitely promote immorality. When you are not getting it in the house, you are going to get it somewhere else and there are always people out there waiting for that opportunity. It will not work,” another female said and pleaded to remain anonymous.