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Bikers want women to ride freely

Bodaboda operators are opposed to the attempt to prohibit women from sitting astride motorbikes while riding.

The move was not only demeaning, but an outright violation of the rights of women, the operators said.

This comes after some counties, especially in Western Kenya, crafted laws to force women to sit sideways.

Though Nairobi County Assembly is yet to follow suit, debate is already raging in the streets of Nairobi.

Emergency breaks

The operators further warned that there would be a steep increase in accidents if proponents of the debate have their way.

Mumo Matheka said it was not safe for women to sit sideways.

“It is unsafe for both the rider and his passenger as it could easily throw the bike out of balance,” said Matheka.

“Riders drive at a  high speeds and  often have to apply emergency breaks,” he said.

Peter Mangua said fear was rife that they would lose business as consequently women would keep off the motorbikes.

In counties where the laws have been effected, it has been argued that it was against the Kenyan culture for women to ride astride.

Mary Okoth, a resident concurrs.

“Women are not supposed to sit  with their legs apart. It is disrespectful and a law should be passed to prohibit this,” she said.

However,  Alice Siso, a regular bodaboda user said she cannot sit sideways terming it as uncomfortable and risky.

Ms Okoth argued that many of the bobaboda operators were not well trained which was the reason for  most of the reported accidents.