Kenyan Women Hold Election Sex Strike to Get Their Husbands to Vote Their Candidate

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The Kenyan Supreme Court annulled the presidential election results in September. Women are now holding a sex strike to get their husbands to vote in a second election on October 26. (Photo credit should read SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images)

Women in one Kenyan town say they will deny their husbands sex to get them to the polls and voting for their chosen candidate in the upcoming do-over presidential vote on Thursday.

Uhuru Kenyatta won the August election with 54 percent, but his victory was overturned by the Supreme Court after his opponent, loser Raila Odinga, claimed the results were hacked.

Scores of women in the city of Nyeri, population 230,000, will withhold sex unless their husbands vote for Kenyatta, according to reports from Kenyan media.

"We must ensure President Uhuru Kenyatta gets all the votes from here," one woman told The Star at a rally led by a local official, Rahab Mukami.

Women are hoping they can sway the outcome of this election in a country where women make up just 19 percent of Parliament. Sex striking before elections has become a common practice in Kenya, including one in 2009 that sought to get political leaders to work together.

Before the August election, a Kenyan lawmaker encouraged women to take part in a sex ban until their husbands registered to vote.

"Women, this is the strategy you should adopt," Mishi Mboko, a Kenyan representative, told the BBC. "It is the best. Deny them sex until they show you their voter's card."

Odinga supported the modern-day Lysistrata strategy.

"August 8 will be a historic day, and no vote will be left without being cast," Odinga told The Star. "Men will sleep outside. When the day comes, no man should sleep with a woman."

Kenyan women don't even need much support from men at the polls, given that 62 percent of registered voters in Kenya are women, according to data obtained by Quartz.

Kenyan officials are calling for peace ahead of the second election, which experts say has already caused political and economic instability in the country. The August results have led to protests throughout the country, with some calling for reforms to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

On Sunday, Odinga told his supporters that the commission was ill-prepared for the upcoming election and asked the commission to call it off, according to The Standard.

Officials worry that Thursday's election could lead to violence. Following the 2007 presidential election, tensions erupted, leading to ethnic violence and the murders of dozens of Kenyans.