The Senate had resumed its Second Session of the 4th Senate on Tuesday, February 14 after a long recess. However, two female Senators, Karen Nyamu and Gloria Orwoba, were forced to leave the Senate chambers due to their dressing. Nyamu was dressed in a black sleeveless blouse and exposed arms, while Orwoba wore blood-stained white suit pants to demonstrate the ordeal that girls and women go through during their menstrual cycle.
Senate Speaker Amason Kingi cited Speaker’s Rule number 5, which requires Senators to be properly dressed. Male Senators should wear a coat, collar, tie, long trousers, socks, shoes, or service uniform. Similarly, women Senators could wear kitenges or African attire. Kingi ordered Nyamu to leave and return only after complying with the rules.
After being kicked out, Orwoba spoke to the media about the stigma surrounding menstruation. She explained that the bloodstain was due to a natural accident and that it highlighted the stigma that girls and women face during their periods. Orwoba tabled a motion on free sanitary towels that would ensure the provision of feminine hygiene products in public schools. The motion would also include a lesson on menstrual hygiene in the school curriculum and ensure that all schools were equipped with proper bathroom facilities.
Orwoba emphasized that the stigma around menstruation can have severe consequences for some girls, who suffer to the extent that they kill themselves. The motion aims to tackle this problem by providing girls with the necessary sanitary products and education to help them manage their periods.
The incident sparked a debate on social media about the Senate’s dress code and the stigma surrounding menstruation. Many people praised Orwoba for her demonstration and for raising awareness about the issue. However, some criticized her for not complying with the dress code and disrupting the proceedings.
The Senate’s dress code has been a subject of controversy in the past, with some arguing that it is too strict and outdated. The incident involving Nyamu and Orwoba has reignited the debate, with some calling for a review of the rules to make them more inclusive and accommodating.
In conclusion, the incident involving Senators Karen Nyamu and Gloria Orwoba highlights the stigma surrounding menstruation and the need for more awareness and education on the issue. Orwoba’s motion on free sanitary towels is an important step towards addressing the problem and ensuring that girls have access to the necessary products and facilities to manage their periods. The incident has also sparked a wider debate on the Senate’s dress code and the need for more inclusive and accommodating rules.