HC Deb 24 July 1929 vol 230 c1280

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he has yet received a Report upon the allegation that gangs of girls from the ages of 10 to 16 years were called out for the collection of thatching material in the North Gem area of Central Kavirondo, involving some of them in a daily journey of 30 miles; and what action he proposes to take in the matter?


Yes, Sir, My noble friend is informed by the Acting Governor of Kenya that an official native headman illegally ordered gangs of girls to collect and carry thatching grass for use in the construction of certain rest-houses which were being built by the Local Native Council of Central Kavirondo District for the accommodation of elders of the tribe. This was done without the knowledge of the District Commissioner and in spite of the fact that the headman well knew that orders had been issued prohibiting the compulsory employment of women. As soon as the matter came to the knowledge of the District Commissioner, he gave the headman immediately explicit instructions to pay off the women and to complete the work with paid male labour.