Kenyan Senator Stands Up to Period Shaming in Parliament, Advocates for Menstrual Equity

A female Kenyan Senator Ms Gloria Orwoba who appeared at the parliament in a white suit with
blood stain in the trousers and was asked to leave the parliament responded to criticisms from
some MPs, which included other female senators by saying, she was disappointed to be
questioned over “an accident that is natural… I have stained my clothes.”

She said this “ I think I’m dressed as per the standing orders- I’m covered, I have a suit, I have
collars, I’m just short of a tie,” She said this in response to some MPs which included another
female senator, critised her, saying she was being disrespectful and asked the speaker to rule on
whether Ms Orwoba had adhered to the house’s dress code, saying she found it uncomfortable
and inappropriate. Senator Tabitha Mutinda saying “ you don’t understand if she’s on the normal
woman cycle or she’s faking it, and it is so indecent,”

A male senate speaker Amazon Kingi ruled that Ms Gloria Orwoba should leave the chamber.
He said “ Having period is never a crime,” Sen Gloria, I sympathize 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 cloths that are not stained.”

Ms Gloria Orwoba upon leaving the senate building did not change her cloths as was advise but
went on to speak to the media saying “ her experience had made her understand the
discrimination faced by some girls in Kenya when they are on their period
“We have a girl who killed herself because of the same issue that I’m going through, and now I
understand because it is the women who are trying to make this a crime.”

After she visited a school in the capital, Nairobi, to distribute sanitary pads in pushing for an
increase in government funding for free sanitary pads and provision of female hygiene products
in all public schools.


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