Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) secretary-general Francis Atwoli on Saturday hit out at Kenyan media houses forcing news anchors to wear wigs and use excessive make-up before going on air.
Atwoli termed it as 'gender discrimination' since the same is not done to male journalists.
"Female journalists in Kenya are often transformed to look like African-Americans. They should borrow a leaf from CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera where journalists are not that young and still deliver.
"What people want is news. Our ladies (anchors) are beautiful even if they shave their hair. Look at Lupita Nyong'o, she is very simple and beautiful. Beauty is not in the wigs.
[caption caption="Lupita Nyong'o"][/caption]
"This is a case the union will take up with the management of media houses. Alternatively, we will seek a court order to stop this retrogressive acts by media houses forcing women to look a certain way," he stated at the COTU headquarters.
He applauded Swahili journalist Ali Manzu who was reporting from Turkana from a humble dwelling in just a T-shirt saying a female journalist in a similar situation would have been forced to put on a weave to look good.
"People should not be forced. If they want a weave, let them put one voluntarily. We do not want gender discrimination perpetuated by media houses," he remarked.
Atwoli urged the Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) to step in and secure an order to 'save' female journalists.
He also called out on police officers to form a union to advocate for their welfare and promised to pursue the matter with authorities.
This comes just a day after Interior CS Fred Matiang'i interdicted Mathira West OCPD Kiptoo Birgen for failing to arrest the man who slapped Martha JM Miano an election observer last week.
[caption caption="Francis Atwoli"][/caption]
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