Kenyan lawmaker sent out of parliament for coming with baby

Kenyan lawmaker sent out of parliament for coming with baby
August 07
12:54 2019

Zulekha Hassan, a Kenyan lawmaker, was on Wednesday asked out of the national assembly for coming with her baby. 

Chris Omulele, the speaker of the house, ordered Hassan to leave, saying her actions are unprecedented.

Speaking to journalists after the incident, Hassan said she had to bring her baby to plenary because she had an emergency.

She explained that she has had three children since she joined the parliament in 2013 and she has never had to go to work with her child.

“I had an emergency and I had to come to work. Today we have two sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon and the parliamentary service commission in 2013 passed that we should have a room, a creche where we can put our babies for breastfeeding staff,” Hassa said.

“You know now that you ask more women to come into parliament,  you have to provide a family-friendly atmosphere at work. This is my third baby in parliament and I have never done this. I have really tried not to come with a baby.

“Today, I had an emergency so what was I supposed to do? Miss parliament and miss my duties just because of a baby? So, that was why I just came with her I knew I would stay here for just a while but if there was a creche I would be able to then put my baby. And she is still breastfeeding and I would like to breastfeed her for as long as I can.”

Asked if she was trying to pass a message, Hassan described coming with her daughter to work as an isolated happenstance.

“No no. This is my third child and I have never done this. This is my second term, I have been here since 2013. Today, there was no other way. It like I am being punished for having a baby and it is a very natural process,” she said.

Meanwhile, Larissa Waters, an Australian lawmaker made news headlines in 2017 when she stood to pass a motion in parliament while she had her baby to her breast.

Waters made history as the first woman to breastfeed a child in the Australian parliament.

Before her, Unnur Bra Konradsdottir, Icelandic member of parliament made similar headlines in 2016, as did Carolina Bescansa, her Spanish counterpart.


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