NOVEMBER 12-14 EVENT

Uhuru rejects gay agenda in population conference

Says all discussions welcome but not those that violate local cultures

In Summary

•The president said cultural and religious standing of majority of Kenyans reject gay right and abortion

•Uhuru held the same stand in 2015 during a visit by the then US president Barack Obama

President Uhuru Kenyatta
STAND: President Uhuru Kenyatta
Image: FILE

Kenya is ready for the global population conference in Nairobi next week "but will not accept practices that are at conflict with our cultures," President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

Speaking on Friday during a meeting with cultural and spiritual leaders from 22 counties where FGM is prevalent, the President said he was aware part of the agenda of the meeting will be "some issues that we will firmly reject."

It is understood the President was referring to the push by reproductive health activists for legal abortion and homosexual rights.

The global conference to be co-hosted by the governments of Denmark and Kenya and the UN Population Fund will run from November 12 to 14 at KICC.M

Matters to be discussed at the meeting include ending maternal deaths, child marriage, and FGM as well as women's reproductive rights such as abortion.

Promoters have also been pushing the sexual minority rights agenda including LGBTQ.

But Uhuru said the country is opposed to practices that undermine its culture and morality.

"We will welcome the visitors Nairobi. We will be there and we will listen. But will be firm in rejecting what we do not agree with," he said.

"We have a stand," he said, adding that "But on things that do not conform with our cultures and religion, we will firmly reject," he told the gathering attended by UNFPA country director Ademola Olajide and western diplomats. 

Uhuru held a similar stand in 2015 during a visit by the then US President Barack Obama. 

 

Uhuru said while Kenya and the US shared values such as  democracy, value for families and  entrepreneurship, "there are some things that we must admit we don't share that our cultures and societies don't accept."

The President commended the efforts by the religious and cultural leaders to end FGM. 

Uhuru said given that figures from the population census that showed women to be over half the total population, ignoring them in development was only a recipe for poverty. 

"How do you neglect over half of the population and still hope to develop and move forward? While women's place remain in the kitchen, we must support them to explore all other areas of life," he said.