Nominated Senator Gloria Orwoba walked into the Kenyan Senate Chambers with period-stained white suit pants to demonstrate the ordeal girls and women go through when experiencing their menstrual cycle, causing drama in her efforts to push forward a bill that would provide free and unlimited feminine hygiene products to women.
Orwoba also proposed a resolution for free sanitary towels to address the lingering era of poverty, but her efforts sparked controversy in the Senate and eventually led to her expulsion.
Senators called her out on a point of order filed by colleague nominated Senator Tabitha Mutinda, who expressed concerns about the dress code.
“I stand seeking guidance on the Speaker’s rule number 5 in regards to the dress code, and I need to seek advice if Senator Gloria is appropriately dressed for the House,” Tabitha stated.
She added, “As a woman and a Senator, I find it very uncomfortable, very inappropriate, for our colleague Senator Gloria to step in and you don’t understand if she’s on the normal woman cycle or it is faking it, and it is so indecent. It disturbs me, as a woman, what we indicate out there to our younger generation that looks upon us on how we dress, as leaders, in this House. There is a better way to bring this out.”
But the senator protested saying: “I am shocked that someone can stand here and say that the House has been disgraced because a woman has had her periods.”
Speaker Amason Kingi ordered the senator to change her attire before being allowed back into the chambers.
“Having periods is never a crime… Senator Gloria I sympathise with you that you are going through the natural act of menstruation, you have stained your wonderful suit, I’m asking you to leave so that you go change and come back with clothes that are not stained,” said the speaker.
Senator Orwoba informed journalists outside the chambers that they are working to address the shadow pandemic that is period stigma and poverty and legalise the provision of free sanitary towels to all school-age children.
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