Why sex boycott call angered me

Monday May 4 2009

The call for a nationwide sex boycott angered me; it consciously or unconsciously sent the message that the most effective weapon women have at their disposal is their bodies.

If it were so, Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai would have called for such a strike a long time ago in order to protect Kenya’s endangered forest cover and water catchment areas. Instead, she chose mass action and tree planting campaigns.

The call for a sex boycott also watered down the good fight that educated Kenyan women have been fighting for decades — to be viewed and treated as intellectual equals in both the home and the work place. The boycott campaign painted the Kenyan women as sex objects.

That said, the call for a sex-boycott did achieve some good things. It provoked reformist thinking and debate from the high and mighty to the rural markets in the most remote parts of the country. Whether by coincidence or design, the sex boycott got Kenyans to seriously discuss the much needed reforms the country needs.