In a move right out of the Greek play Lysistrata or that Spike Lee movie Chi-Raq, the women of Kenya are being urged to stop having sex with their husbands until they register to vote for the upcoming August presidential election.
Mishi Mboko, an MP in Kenya's National Assembly, reportedly told women at a recent public event to "deny them sex until they show you their voter's card." The voter registration laws in Kenya are even more stringent than in the US, and citizens are required to register by February 17 in order to vote next summer, so Mboko's plan gives "Dry January" a whole new meaning.
Mboko's suggestionis part of her party's effort to defeat the current president, Uhuru Kenyatta, in the August election. Kenyatta, the son of the country's first president and founding father, is seeking his second term despite being charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court for reportedly inciting violence following the 2007 presidential elections that led to the loss of 1,300 lives. His approval ratings surged after those charges were dropped in 2014 due to lack of evidence, but the country has struggled with high cost of living and rising public debt in recent years.
Sex strikes aren't totally unorthodox in Kenyan politics. In 2009, the Women's Development Organization called for a weeklong sex strike to get the country's then-president Mwai Kibaki and prime minister Raila Odinga to reconcile and get the government running again after the contested 2007 election. As it turns out, a week without sex was all it took for the men of the country to reconsider years of political stagnation.
And elsewhere in Africa, activist Leymah Gbowee won a Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to use not putting out to end the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. Considering the staggering success of such political actions, it seems like the men of Kenya will be getting to the polls if they ever want to use their poles again.