We take great exception to the comments made by the Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha towards a female Muslim journalist on the 26th July 2022. While addressing a press conference, Magoha zeroed in on the female journalist asking, “who are you representing? If you are representing Al Shabaab, I will not answer you.”
While these comments are disrespectful and unacceptable, they bring to the fore the attitude and treatment targeted towards women based on religion and how they express themselves through their dressing. Not only did Magoha link the journalist to a known terrorist organization, Al Shabaab, he discriminated her in front of her peers and the public contrary to Article 27 of the constitution which spells out equality and freedom from discrimination.
It is appalling that these comments coming for such a high office duty bearer in our government validate discriminative treatment towards people from varying religious backgrounds. Article 32 of our constitution has enshrined every person’s right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion. It is our expectation that a public officer of Magoha’s rank would be at the frontline of protecting that right.
As CREAW we continue fight for the elimination of social-cultural and economic discrimination which deprive women and girls of basic rights, resources and opportunities. To this end, we demand for a public apology from CS Prof George Magoha towards the journalist and that he takes personal responsibility for his utterances. We also demand for his immediate resignation from the office he holds as a message that intolerance and discrimination is unacceptable.
About the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness – CREAW envisions a just society where women and girls enjoy full rights and live in dignity. We believe in the equality of rights, with empowerment and justice made available for every woman and girl. We stand for, ensuring women and girls have Power, Voice and Agency. For more information on CREAW, please visit: www.creawkenya.org.