Saturday, May 2, 2009

Kenyan cure for chaos: no sex tonight

The Globe and Mail (Canada)
2 May 2009

NAIROBI -- Off a main road in a suburb of Nairobi, two young women wearing high heels, hoop earrings and tight Western clothes discuss the latest gossip in Kenya: a sex strike.

"For me, I can't strike!" says 25-year-old student Vivian Nachii, laughing nervously at the question while leaning against a Toyota, rap music spilling out.

"Politics and marriage should not mix," says 23-year-old Arthur, from inside the car. "If my wife refuses to have sex with me," he says, "she goes back to her mother. That is my right."

"In any case, it's not African," Ms. Nachii's friend Liz Aywak pipes in. "We don't discuss sex in public."

But that's just what some Kenyan women are doing. On Wednesday, a coalition of more than 20 women's groups began a weeklong boycott, withholding sex from their husbands in protest against what they call poor leadership in a patriarchal society that risks plunging their country back into chaos.

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