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FGM practices peak during schools holidays in Kenya

Post by : Hillary Musyoki

Female Genital Mutilation is a cultural tradition which involves the removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons.

Why is the practice been done on young girls? it is believed that in some communities when a girl is cut, it is a rite of passage.  It prepares the girls for marriage, sexual maturity and as a way for the girls to be accepted in the community as mature women.

In Kenya, the practice is done while young girls are home for the long holidays. They have a long period away from school hence they are believed to have a long time to heal from the procedure.

Due to schools been closed for about two months, young girls are on a high risk of been cut.

Photo// school girls at high risk of been cut while on school holidays. Photo Courtesy

FGM, has officially been recognized as a form of violence against women and violation of human rights in the 1993 declaration on the Elimination Of Violence against women.

A survey was done by the Kenya Demographic and Health on the practice and it was revealed in Kenya 21% of women aged 15-49 are on high risk of the practice to be done on them. The prevalence is higher among Somali(94%), Samburu(86%), Kisii(84%)

How To Stop FGM practice

The practice is mainly done by the elders of the communities who went through the same so in their way FGM is right but its not.

Photo// FGM practices on young girls. Photo Courtesy.

The Government has created several teams in communities, the teams include community gatekeepers, cultural and religious leaders and administrative officials of the communities in order to educate the communities why it is harmful to practice FGM.

The teams select girls to undergo the alternative rite of passage which does not involve cutting of the female genitalia but a different way.

The ceremony takes 4-5days. It offers an alternative to ritual cutting but seems to retain the positive aspect of cultural rituals and celebrations around womanhood.

FGM is a vice tat should be stopped as young girls end up suffering. People in different communities should be able to say no if any young girl is been subjected to practice FGM.

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