Female genital mutilation (FGM) is still practised in parts of Kenya, especially areas that are far from the cities, with long-term devastating complications on the women who undergo it.
In some communities, FGM is considered a measure of chastity of the girls and is also meant to lower their sexual desire.
A few weeks ago in neighbouring Somalia, three girls who were subjected to this practice died as a result of excessive bleeding.
Though there is no evidence of girls who have been ‘cut’ abstaining from sexual activities before marriage more than the ‘uncut’, communities still put girls’ lives in danger in pursuit of the virtue. The difficulties they go through are many and immense, sometimes leading to death.
This practice affects the girls’ growth and development, makes them prone to infections and could lead to excessive bleeding during the mutilation and also when they give birth.
Measures, including tough laws, put in place by the government to end this practice, which was outlawed in 2011, have been largely unfruitful because it is deep-rooted.
The society should put in concerted efforts in educating these communities through public awareness campaigns, including in the media, especially the radio. Artistes should also use their creativity to condemn FGM.
Education is the only effective measure against FGM. It is better than using force — including arresting and sending culprits to prison. And the government and the society need to use this method to end the inhuman practice.
Source: Daily Nation