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By Renson Mwakandana

A female Kenyan senator who was forced to leave parliament because of an apparent blood stain on her trousers said she was glad to stand up against “period shame”. Gloria Orwoba stated that she was aware of the stain before entering the premises.

“Since I am always advocating against period shame, I thought I should go ahead and walk the talk,” she explained. Some MPs, including another female senator, chastised her for being impolite.

Gloria Orwoba
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Senator Tabitha Mutinda sought the speaker to rule on whether Ms Orwoba had followed the house’s dress code during Tuesday’s plenary session, saying she felt it uncomfortable and unacceptable.

Senator Tabitha Mutinda /Mzalendo/

She replied by claiming she was unhappy to be questioned about “an accident that is natural” having intentionally ruined her clothes.

Ms Orowba stated that her experience had taught her about the prejudice that some Kenyan females encounter while 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,” she remarked.

Mr. Sen Enoch Wambua /Pulse Kenya/

She was also chastised by a male senator one Mr. Sen Enoch Wambua saying “We have wives and daughters, and they go through these cycles, but it’s a matter to be managed personally without exposing it to other people. What Sen Gloria has done to this house is a disgrace, it is a lot of shame to this house. This must not be allowed to happen.”

Ms Orowba stated that senate personnel attempted to discourage her from entering the chamber. When she got out of the automobile, a senator raced up to her and urged that she return to the car.

Ms Orowba was ordered to leave the Senate by the Senate Speaker Amason Kingi. “Having periods is never a crime,” he asserted. “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 clothes that are not stained.”

Amason Kingi, Speaker of the Senate /Uzalendo News/

Ms. Orowba did not change her attire after leaving the Senate building. She spoke to the media before going to a school in Nairobi, Kenya, to give sanitary pads.

The senator has introduced legislation to enhance government financing for free sanitary pads and the distribution of feminine hygiene items in all public schools. She stated the funds will combat “period poverty”.
Senator Gloria Orwoba /AfricaNews/
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