“Sex Strike” May Happen In Kenya To Make Men Vote

Published January 26, 2017
Updated January 29, 2017
Published January 26, 2017
Updated January 29, 2017
Sex Strike

YouTube/Movie Clips

There are a lot of ways to encourage people to vote.

In 2016, for instance, U.S. politicians used text message alerts, Beyoncé concerts, and flash dances to (unsuccessfully) get Americans to the polls.

In Kenya, they’re using sex. Or rather, a lack thereof.

As the East African nation prepares for a tight presidential race in August, Parliament member Mishi Mboko asked women in her party’s stronghold areas to deny their husbands sex until the men can produce their voter’s cards.

Sex Strike 2

Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty ImagesCounty Women Representative in Parliament for Mombasa county Mishi Juma Mboko

“Sex is a powerful weapon to make reluctant men rush to register as voters,” she said, according to the Standard newspaper.

Mboko’s call isn’t exactly new — or isolated to Kenya. In Liberia in 2003, women withheld sex as part of a peace movement to end the Second Liberian Civil War. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf supported the effort, was later elected president, won a Nobel Peace Prize, and still credits the strike with garnering much-needed publicity for the cause.

In Colombia in 2006, the “Strike of Crossed Legs” made a statement against violence. Crime dropped by 26.5%.

Women have used the tactic in the Philippines, in Togo and in Ukraine.

It doesn’t always work out, though. In Italy, women told their significant others they had to choose between lighting fireworks on New Year’s Eve or getting laid. Men still continued to light fireworks and many firework-related injuries were reported.

It’s difficult to say whether sexual urges actually shifted the political climate in any of these cases, but it does get people talking. And at least Mboko’s husband is all set for voting day.

Annie Garau
Annie is a NYC-based writer.
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