Fox News host Emily CompanyWhile downplaying criticism that women’s rights are being attacked in the United States, this week claimed that pregnant Kenyan women are not only denied the right to vote, but also prevented from physically leaving their homes.
It didn’t last long though, because real Kenyans to cry out her comments as misleading and demanding that the host and network issue a correction.
Despite the backlash, however, Compagno isn’t backing down, instead citing an unsourced website to defend its case.
During a performance on July 5 on Fox News late night ‘comedy’ show Gutfeld!, Compagno took issue with celebrities who ventured into political issues and reportedly tried to “cancel” the Fourth of July. She chided those who complained that American women are losing their rights by noting that it pales in comparison to what women in other countries are experiencing.
“The insularity of these celebrities is so ridiculous to me! It’s so sickening. These comments are completely delusional,” said de in minority co-host furious, adding: “We have less voting rights? What about in Kenya where pregnant women cannot leave the house and therefore have absolutely no constructive voting rights?”
“What is this? What does Emily Compagno say? That in Kenya pregnant women are not allowed to leave the house and therefore have no voting rights? How does she imagine our country? That statement is incorrect, misleading, condescending and should be withdrawn,” the statement said. Kenyan political strategist Pauline Njoroge. tweeted†
“Pregnant women in Kenya are allowed to leave home. Pregnant women in Kenya are allowed to vote. Pregnant women are given priority on the voting lines. Pregnant women give birth for free under the government’s #lindamama program. Withdraw your statement,” Esther M. Passaris, a female member of Kenya’s National Assembly, tweeted at Compagno.
As many Kenyans commented on social media, the African country Independent Election and Boundary Commission has even expanded access to voices for pregnant women. In addition to the elderly and people with disabilities, expectant women avoid long queues and jump straight to the front of the line.
When Compagno asked for comment on the controversy, Compagno – through a Fox News spokesperson – stood behind her comments, pointing to two websites where she found claims that pregnant women in Kenya should supposedly not be allowed to leave their homes. This essentially limits their voting rights, thus her use of the word “constructive” on Tuesday night.
a website, Grazia Daily, wrote that in western Kenya, “cultural norms prohibit women expecting children from being seen in public, meaning a large proportion of women cannot go out to vote.” the other site, Assessment of the world’s population, wrote: “Kenyan women are not allowed to take long walks (such as to the polls) and pregnant women are not allowed to leave the house. High rates of illness and a history of election-related violence also keep women at home.”
Neither website cites official sources to back up the claims.