In 1945 Kenya was a colony of Great Britain. Workers were paid low wages and a wave of complaints led to threats of a strike. The British created the Phillips Committee to investigate the workers’ complaints. Forming the committee pacified the workers for a time, but by the end of 1946, workers in Mombasa were upset with the lack of change.
By 2009, post-election violence had killed 1,500 people and forced 600,000 from their homes. In order to end this violence, President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga agreed to share leadership power in Kenya. However, this relationship began to deteriorate due to the leaders’ divergent policies and visions for the country. In April 2009, activist women in Kenya took matters into their own hands and organized a seven-day sex strike to force their leaders to reconcile and move forward.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the political atmosphere in Kenya was characterized by brutal government repression and terror. Under the single-party rule of President Daniel arap Moi, any form of political dissension was swiftly met with government interrogation, detention, and torture. Many students, journalists, lawyers, and human rights advocates were among those imprisoned for perceived anti-government statements, ideas, and actions.