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Kenya: Men boycott home-cooked meals to protest domestic abuse (VIDEO)

Maendeleo Ya Wanaume has called Kenyan men to boycott home-cooked meals for six days.
Kenya abused men boycott meals 2012 2 21Enlarge
Today is day two of Kenyan men boycotting meals cooked by their wives. (Marco Longari /AFP/Getty Images)

BOSTON — Kenyan men are claiming that they are being abused by their wives.

Maendeleo Ya Wanaume, a Kenyan men's lobby group, has called for a six-day boycott of meals cooked at home by their wives or partners.

Instead of eating home-cooked meals, Maendeleo Ya Wanaume said that men should meet and gather outside of home to eat and share their experiences of abuse.

Ndiritu Njoka, the leader of the lobby group, told the BBC he called for the nationwide boycott to stop women from beating up their spouses and emotionally abusing them.

The food boycott was also a response to recent cases of husband battery in Kenya. One particular story two weeks ago about 40-year-old Simon Kiguta from Nyeri caused much uproar as he alleged that his wife slashed him with a panga (machete) while he was in bed, reported the Daily Nation. Kituga was sleeping after coming home drunk.

Business Daily Africa analyzed the rising issue of battered men in a recent article which said, "In the Kenyan context, alcohol would seem to be the agent that transforms meek men into agents of domestic violence. In many cases, it is the same excessive consumption of alcohol that leads to the same men being beaten up."

The video below includes an interview with Kiguta, who appears with a swollen, stitched-up face:

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Maendeleo Ya Wanaume, which means "Development for Men," says the Kenyan government does not take domestic violence against men seriously and have instead focused on initiatives to improve the status of women. The problem of abuse, the group says, is getting worse as Kenyan women are becoming more economically independent.

According to a survey Maendeleo Ya Wanaume conducted last year, there were at least 460,000 men in Central Kenya and 300,000 men in Nairobi who said they had been subjected to some sort of domestic abuse.

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Today marks the second day of the food boycott in Kenya where most meals are cooked by women, and it is an important part of Kenyan culture for men to eat at home in order to show their appreciation for women, according to the BBC.

Here's what people are saying on Twitter about the current hunger strike:

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