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February 22, 2019

G-Spot: Kenyan men still utter sexism with impunity

Stressed woman
Stressed woman

I see Kenyan men are continuing in their shameful tradition of being rude and insulting to women and facing little or no censure for their actions.

I cannot believe that in 2017, people such as Embu deputy speaker Steve Munene can stand up in a meeting of his peers and say without fear or favour that it is good to be surrounded by women when discharging difficult duties of a ward representative, as “being surrounded by women makes tiring jobs easier because you remain warm”.

I find it hard to appreciate how three days after these vile remarks, suggesting the job of elected women is basically to prostitute themselves to their male counterparts, there hasn’t been a national outcry.  

Meanwhile, Munene, who is also the MCA for Runyenjes, added insult to injury when he suggested at the same forum that the Gender committee is where most female MCAs should be appointed.

I came across his remarks in an online article from this newspaper, and I have added Munene to my ever-growing list of horrible little men elected into positions of leadership, despite seeming to have a very low opinion of women generally.

While I hope and pray that Munene and company’s Neanderthal ways will eventually lead to their downfall, I can’t help wishing there was some way in which they could be instantly brought to book for using such appalling language towards women.

Here in South Africa, they have the crimen injuria laws, which pursue those who commit acts intended to infringe on a person's dignity or reputation.

While examples of crimen injuria include road rage and stalking, most recently, the tale of Vicki Momberg, 48, has been in the news. Momberg’s crime was that of verbal abuse. According to reports, in February, she was caught on camera calling police officers “kaffirs”. This is an  incredibly vicious and rude insult against black people that was popularised during the Apartheid era, and which most South african media refer to simply as (the K-word).

She now faces jail term for her insults and frankly, if we had a similar law in Kenya, I would expect to see Steve Munene charged with it. This pathetic excuse of a leader has just cast aspersions on the careers of women political leaders past and present, including Grace Onyango, Wangari Maathai, Chelagat Mutai, Grace Ogot, Phoebe Asiyo,Dr Julia Ojiambo, Martha Karua, Margaret Kenyatta, Charity Ngilu, Beth Mugo, Joyce Laboso, Aisha Jumwa, Millie Odhiambo, Sophia Noor, Peris Tobiko, Jane Njiru, Esther Passaris and Margaret Kamar.

I wonder when these women, their friends, families and supporters will take Munene on and show him the error of his ways. Surely, someone could nudge the NCIC into action.

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