A woman MP in Kenya was ordered to leave the country’s Parliament Wednesday, according to a BBC report. Reason: she brought her five-month-old baby to work because of a “domestic emergency”. While the female MPs in the Parliament walked out in solidarity with Hassan, some of the male lawmakers described her actions as “shameful”.
According to House rules, the Kenyan Parliament does not allow “strangers” into the chamber, including children. The House Speaker, Christopher Omulele, asked Zuleika Hassan to leave saying she could only return without the baby. This led to some of the MPs shouting and shoving each other.
Later, Hassan said that if the Parliament wants more women to be part of the system, it should create a more “family-friendly atmosphere” for them.
“I have tried really hard not to come with the baby, but today I had an emergency; what was I supposed to do? If parliament had a nursery or a creche, I would be able to put my baby there,” BBC quoted her saying.
In a statement, Deputy Speaker Moses Cheboi said that there was a facility in the Parliament for mothers to take care of their babies. However, mothers would have to “bring along their nannies” to watch over the babies at the facility while they undertake their official duties, the statement added.
In past, several female politicians around the world have been in news for taking their babies to work. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden was the first female world leader to take her three-month-old baby to the UNGA Summit in New York in 2018.
(With inputs from BBC)