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2009 Kenya sex strike

A sex strike, a form of nonviolent protest, was held by Kenyan female activists in 2009 to end the deteriorating relationship between the country’s President, Mwai Kibaki, and Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, who agreed to share leadership powers in Kenya.[1] There was a seven-day sex strike, which involved thousands of women who vowed to withhold sex from their partner. This sex strike was aimed at forcing the leaders to reconcile as they had different views on how Kenya should be run as well as issued conflicting policies that did not focus on urgent issues that mattered in Kenya such as dealing with corruption and poverty.[2]

The goal of the strike was to revive Kenya and fix the bickering leadership. The women had a set of demands they wanted to be fulfilled which involved principles such as respect and good faith from the leaders. The strike lasted seven days, after which it ended with a joint prayer session where the conflicting leaders finally agreed to talk.

Tribal violenceEdit

In 2009, Kenya was experiencing an enormous amount of post-election violence once the President and Prime Minister were appointed as leaders. This resulted in communal violence between tribes. Kenya had a disputed election that led to tribal conflict, which killed more than a thousand people and left more than six hundred thousand people homeless.


The sex strike was enforced by a women's group called Women's Development Organization, a group in Kenya that is a prominent women’s rights group.[2] The Women's Development Organization group has been around for the longest in Kenya as a form of women’s rights movements. Eleven other women's groups also joined the strike, eventually involving thousands of women. The movement was significant and caused a major challenge because many men in Kenya are polygamous, as it is allowed by law. The sex strike lasted a full week, from May 1, 2009 until May 7. The nonviolent action was the omission of sex by women from men and their husbands.[2]

The act of resisting sex was enough for the government to reconsider the leadership and how Kenya was being run.


  1. ^ Mike Pflanz in Nairobi (29 April 2009). "Kenyan women go on sex strike to force politicians to talk". Retrieved 6 May 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Africa | Kenyan women hit men with sex ban". BBC News. 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2016-05-06.