Africa

A Kenyan MP has been forced out of parliament for bringing her baby

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Zuleikha Hassan said she was not trying to send a message by bringing her baby into the chamber, she was just trying to do her job.

The female members of Kenya's parliament have walked out after MP Zuleikha Hassan was told to leave because she had brought her baby into the chamber. 

The mother-of-three said she was forced to bring her five-month-old daughter to work because of a family emergency.

A video shows security guards crowding around Ms Hassan as she holds her baby.

"It has come to the attention of the speaker, that a member, the Honorable Zuleikha is in the chamber ... of the national assembly with a child," Deputy Speaker Christoper Omulele said in the video.

"As a much as she might want to take her child, this is not the place for it. I, therefore, direct, that she immediately withdraws and she may return to the chamber after she withdraws the child."

Following the incident, Ms Hassan said the government needed to provide more facilities for parents

"I've never done this [before], I've tried really hard not to come with a baby but today I had an emergency, so what was I supposed to do - miss parliament and miss my duties," she said.

"So I just came with her, I knew that I'd stay here for a while and later when my situation is better ... but if there was a room, a creche or a nursery here I'd be able to put my baby [there].



"She's still breastfeeding and I'd like to breastfeed for as long as I can."

The MP shut down the assumption that she was trying to send a message with her actions.

"No, I'm not. This is my third child, I've never done this," she said.

"As you ask for more women to come into parliament, you know you need to provide a family-friendly atmosphere at work," she said.

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