Women Representative 2017 Rahab Mukam from Nyeri campaigning for President Uhuru. Photo credit: Wambugu Kanyi

"No Sex Unless You Vote for Kenyatta:" Kenyan Women Go On Sex Strike In Support of Presidential Candidate

These Kenyan women are exercising their political power by bringing politics to the bedroom.

The Kenyan presidential election just got local for a group of men in the town of Nyeri. Women in the town have called a sex ban, demanding that incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta be re-elected, according to the Star Newspaper.

The women said in a press conference that they will not sleep with their partners until they know that Kenyatta has won the vote. Rahab Mukami, the group's leader, said that the women's campaign has no choice but to intensify its efforts to ensure that Kenyatta is victor.

This is not the first time sex has come up in this presidential election season in Kenya. Kenyatta's opposition, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga asked his supporters for a sex boycott the night before the first vote, which took place on August 8.

After Kenyatta won 55 percent of that vote, the Kenyan Supreme Court ordered a second vote citing voting irregularities. The ruling was seen as an unprecedented victory in the name of democracy in Africa.

Kenyatta expressed respect for the court, while maintaining his anger at the court's decision to nullify the vote. President Kenyatta has been in office since 2013. While the court did not find Kenyatta guilty of misconduct in the election process, it found that the election had been "tainted by irregularities." The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission was held largely responsible.

Meanwhile, women in Nyeri have taken matters in their own hands. As supporters of Kenyatta, his victory in the first vote was a gift. With news of the nullified vote, they began to formulate strategies to ensure that he remained in office after the second election.

While it may be tempting to look at this as a Lysistrata moment where women are celebrated for the genius of leveraging their sexual power for politics, not everyone is feeling the women's empowerment.

Tweets dismissing the women and insulting the men of Nyeri are pouring in.

Sex boycotts are not the only way women have exerted power over political processes in Africa this year. Women in Liberia launched a campaign called "Don't Touch My Peace," demanding that this month's presidential election remain peaceful. It was a reference to the violence of the Civil War which ravaged the country for fourteen years, and that involved many acts of sexual violence against women.

Kenya returns to the polls on October 25. It will be a big day for the highest office in the land, and a big day for the men of Nyeri, too.


#LGBTRightsGhana: Ghanaians Rally Support For the LGBT+ Community

Pro-LGBT+ advocacy in Ghana is at an all-time high as members of the community face public backlash.

The LGBT+ community in the West African country of Ghana is a fast growing group, but they are also highly marginalized. In recent times, the nation's LGBT+ population has faced increased backlash from members of Ghana's society who are opposed to the rights of the community. Many members of the community are forced to live secret or suppressed lives, as those who are open about their sexuality face discrimination and oppression in various forms and degrees, as a result of living in a society that lacks progressiveness and regard for basic human rights for all individuals regardless of sexual orientation.

At the moment both the backlash and the advocacy for the cause is currently at a climax, sparked by recent events concerning Ghana's LGBT+ support group and the public opposition against it by Ghana's society and the nation's government. Ghana's official LGBT+ support group, called LGBT+ Rights Ghana, established their headquarters in Accra on January 31, 2021. The office was intended to be a safe space and avenue of support for all LGBT+ Ghanaians. On February 24, 2021. the office was shut down by members of Ghana's national security force together with the police, on orders issued by Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, after the center became the subject of a furious public backlash.

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