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April 30th, 2009
Kenyan Women Boycott Sex

Kenyan women are calling for a week-long sex boycott to protest a rift in the nation’s coalition government — and they’ve got the Prime Minister’s wife on board. Ida Odinga, wife of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, said that she’d support the campaign “100 percent.”

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga have led a unity government since 2008, when the two agreed to share power after disputed elections led to a outbreak of violence in which more than 1,500 Kenyans were killed.

But the coalition, which has always been shaky, is now on the verge of collapse. Prime Minister Odinga complains that President Kibaki has tried to sideline him, while Kibaki accuses Odigna of trying to incite a coup. Earlier this week, Odinga called for new elections if the dispute cannot be resolved.

Inspired by Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, the women organizing the boycott hope to pressure the male-dominated political leadership to negotiate by denying them sex until they do.

“We have looked at all issues which can bring people to talk and we have seen that sex is the answer,” said Rukia Subow, one of the organizers.

It worked for the Greeks.

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