Limuru: Three managers arrested after female staff forced to undress over used sanitary towel

Brown Cheese Company officials addressing the media on July 6.[[George Njunge, Standard]

Police in Tigoni have arrested three senior managers at Brown Cheese Company in Limuru, in connection with an incident where female employees were allegedly forced to undress at work.

Limuru Sub-County Police Commander Philip Mwania, confirming the incident, said that they acted after receiving reports from a section of female workers at the company.

“We got reports on Wednesday, July 5, from women working in the company. The act was inhuman and uncalled for. We visited the company and managed to arrest three top female management officers. They are in our custody and the statements have been recorded and awaiting to be taken to court,” Mwania said.

The incident was first reported on social media on Tuesday, July 4. An employee claimed that women were subjected to harassment by a quality assurance manager in the quest for identifying the person who had allegedly disposed of a sanitary towel in the wrong bin.

“I work at Brown's Cheese Company in Tigoni and earlier yesterday, women were subjected to harassment in the presence of a Human Resource officer to remove their underpants to check who was on her menses,” an employee narrated. 

“We did not have a choice because we were threatened that we would lose our jobs as casual laborers if we didn’t comply,” the post continued. 

Female employees demonstrating.[George Njunge, Standard]

On Thursday, July 6, the cheese company condemned the unfortunate incident saying those involved had been suspended, pending investigations. 

“Brown's is a women-led business and works hard to provide a working environment that is safe for all employees. We have formal HR policies and systems in place and this incident does not reflect the procedures of the company as a whole. We realize we must do better and understand how this happened,” the company wrote in a post seen on its official Instagram page. 

Further, they said they had apologized to the female staff involved and were looking into the incident.

 Nominated Senator Gloria Orwoba also confirmed receiving a distress call on Monday night informing her of the incident.

"I got a report about an incident at Brown Cheese Company in Limuru that apparently the Quality Assurance Manager had found a used sanitary towel placed in one of the bins that was not meant for the disposal," Orwoba said in a video.

"It caused up a stir and the manager allegedly gathered all the women from the team and told them to undress so that she could check who was on her periods and punish them for placing the towel in that bin,” the Senator claimed. 

Sanitary towels displayed at  Brown Cheese Company gate. [George Njunge, Standard]

Orwoba, a known advocate of ending period shaming, expressed concern with the matter despite her intervention of making calls to the company to seek clarification. 

“It is unfortunate that the matter at Brown Cheese Company has escalated despite this morning's intervention through my office. All institutions should purpose to implement the Menstrual hygiene management policy in Kenya for the good of all stakeholders,” she said.