Kenyan MP sent out of chamber for bringing her baby
Posted August 7, 2019 12:09 p.m. EDT
CNN — A female member of Keyna's Parliament was removed after walking into chambers with her 5-month-old baby.
Zuleikha Hassan, a mother of three, told CNN she came to work with her youngest child after she was unable to find a sitter.
A security guard stopped her from taking her baby into the chamber in the Nairobi capital on Wednesday, she said, but she insisted on being with her daughter.
Rules do not allow children.
A video shows security guards gathered around the MP as she held onto her baby, and Deputy Speaker Christoper Omulele repeatedly ordered her out of the chamber.
"Honorable Zuleikha kindly withdraw with decorum... Honorable Zuleikha you are out of order," Omulele says in the video.
Hassan said she knew she would be sent out but had to attend the session.
"I was just tired. I mean young women all over the country are facing worse situations. They can't afford a nanny, and they have to decide whether they should breastfeed their child or go to work," Hassan told CNN.
She said Parliament lacks a daycare center, though it had promised to provide one in 2013.
"Private companies have such provisions, but as the highest lawmaking body of the country, really we should be an example," Hassan said.
Despite the objections from MPs, Hassan said others supported her as she was being told to leave.
The MP said the incident was another reminder for the government and the public sector to provide family-friendly workspaces for mothers.
"We are trying to encourage more women to come into politics, to come into the workspaces, to get out and help out the economy in other ways, so we have to support them," Hassan told CNN.