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Kenyan women straddling motorcycles is ‘uncultured,’ cites proposed law

Because some in Kenya have decided that women riding on motorcycles is too distracting for lust-hungry men, women in Kisumu County may soon be forced to ride sidesaddle, endangering their lives.

At issue, is the fact that when women ride as passengers behind a man, they naturally have to open their legs, as do the men, to straddle the bike. This action is "really demeaning to our women,” county assembly member Caroline Owen who proposed a new law, tells local news station Kenya Television Network.

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She argues that the practice is "uncultured" because women are exposing their bodies. She also references the fact that neighbouring country Uganda has enacted a similar law.

In addition to Uganda, Indonesia also passed a law earlier this year that bans women from straddling motorcycles and holding onto male drivers.

Kenya Television Network reports that the county assembly debated a report that said Kisumu’s culture was in decline due to the influence of western values that support “permissive conduct.”

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Many people in Kisumu County, which borders Lake Victoria, use motorcycle taxis because they are cheaper than cars. Men and women alike ride as passengers on the back, but for the women that do, it is apparently so distracting to male onlookers that some report not being able to drive safely.

What are your thoughts on this law? Assuming it would never see the light of day in Canada, do you think it makes sense for a country like Kenya?

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