16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence Campaign is an international initiative which emanated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991. Every year, CWGL composes a Campaign theme in consultation with women’s human rights advocates worldwide and then circulates an announcement for the campaign as widely as possible. This year, the theme that was unanimously agreed upon was centered on bringing an end to all forms of Gender based violence. Hence the overriding theme of this year is.


The ongoing campaign was launched on 25th November and will run through to10th December 2015: dates which are aimed at linking International Day against Violence against Women (November 25th) and International Human Rights Day (December 10th).


Gender-based violence has been defined by the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as ‘any act…that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in private or public life…violence against women shall be understood to encompass, but not be limited to, physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, the community, including battery, sexual abuse of female children, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence, violence related to exploitation, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions and elsewhere, trafficking in women, forced prostitution, and violence against women perpetrated and condoned by the state’.
Types of Gender Based Violence
Gender Based Violence can take many forms which include:
• Intimate partner violence (sexual. Physical, emotional)
• Forced sexual initiation
• Sexual coercion
• Child sexual abuse
• Rape
• Trafficking
• Female Genital Mutilation
• Honor Killings
One of the most common forms of Gender Based Violence is abuse by husbands or male intimate partners, otherwise known as intimate partner violence. Most incidents of this kind of violence will be found in a home setting. Research reveals that abusers and violators tend to be those in positions of power relative to that of their victims. Further, a majority of violators are men, while a majority of the victims are women, indeed, reflecting the very real patriarchal power structure within the contemporary society. Other terms that have been used to describe intimate partner violence include battering, domestic violence, and rape and though not recognized in many jurisdictions, marital rape.

The Prevalence of Gender Based Violence in Kenya.

Data elicited by a recent study on domestic violence undertaken by FIDA Kenya reveals that gender based violence and intimate partner violence is on an upward spiral. The study indicates that 74.5% of the respondents interviewed in the Coast, Nairobi, Nyanza and Western provinces indicated that they have been physically abused within their homestead. This data confirms research in the Kenya Health and Demographic Survey (DHS) which indicates that half of Kenyan women have experienced violence since they were 15 years and one in four cases reported experiencing violence in the 12 months preceding the survey. The DHS revealed that nearly one third of women reported that they have been beaten, and the vast majority of those report that their spouse or partner was the perpetrator. Similarly in 2004, a study by FIDA Kenya on the prevalence of partner violence in Nairobi, found out that 40% of women between the ages of 15 and 49 has experienced partner violence at least once in their lifetime. The findings also reveal that 52% of women reported physical partner abuse at some point in their life. In one year, April 2007 – March 2008 the Gender Violence Recovery Center, based at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital, recorded a total of 2,750 survivors of sexual violence and domestic violence.


For years in Kenya, domestic violence has been meted out on men, women and children and there was no special legislation on such crime. In may 2015, the PADV Act was accented to and it’s commencement date was June 2015. This is the legislation in Kenya that solely addresses violence within the family setting.

The journey towards achieving this legislation was a long and protracted one which involved cooperation within the civil society and members of Parliament. The law was perceived as challenging patriarchal power in society and such some male MPs were against it. Lobbying for the act was success in the end.

PADV Act sought to provide relief and protection to victims of domestic violence. Some of the non conventional offenses now prosecutable include : economic violence, emotional abuse, stalking, interference from in laws as well as virginity testing and sexual violence in marriage. Additionally, a welcome clause in the legislation is any person can report abuse on behalf of the victim. Initially it was restricted to the victim. Measures to ensure protection of the victim and dependants are set out in the Act. I.e the state is supposed to provide protection orders to the victims and at the same time the court can order for counselling services and compensation to the victims.

The act seeks to protect those in a domestic relationship I.e those married, those previously married, those divorced, those engaged, living in the same household, relatives, children etc

PADV act provides for Family Protection Fund which will be for assisting victims of domestic violence. This fund will be managed by Domestic Violence (Family Protection) Advisory Board.

Every police station will have a desk manned by a police officer who has received adequate training and has expertise in dealing with domestic violence or family related issues.


There are several international human rights instruments which were enacted to inter alia, eliminate all forms of violence against women and also children. Notable among them is The Convention on The Elimination of All Forms of Violence Against Women (CEDAW). Article 5 provides that the State has an obligation to eliminate all sorts of discrimination against women. Article 16 obligates the State to eliminate discriminate against women in marriage and family relations. This can be inferred to mean that the State is obligated to protect women from sexual gender based violence which in essence includes inter alia, domestic violence, sexual violence and female genital mutilation. The treaty body gave General Recommendation No. 12 which proposed that the State should enact legislation which protects women from all kinds of violence such as sexual violence, domestic violence, sexual harassment, to name a few. The treaty body also gave General Recommendation No. 19 that proposed the elimination of violence against women.

The Optional Protocol to CEDAW also provides a platform where women can seek redress for violations of their human rights at the international level.

United Nations General Assembly in recognizing the need to uphold the rights and principles enshrined in the following international instruments, inter alia, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment saw the need to pass a resolution protecting women from gender based violence in resolution A/RES/48/104.

The Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) also provides for protection of children against violence and any harmful practices which will affect the physical, mental and/ or psychological development of the child.

However, Kenya is yet to ratify some International human rights instruments which inter alia, are aimed at the elimination of violence. This includes the Protocol to The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.

Kenya is a signatory to a number of the international conventions and indeed it has taken steps to domesticate some of the provisions therein by enacting the Sexual Offences Act and Children’s Act of 2007.

Section 14 of the Children’s Act only protects the girl child under the age of 18 years from FGM. This leaves girls and women over 18 years at risk of being circumcised, thus prone to gender violence.


If the fight of the ending Gender Based Violence is to succeed, all stakeholders should be at the fore front lobbying the Government to enact and implement gender responsive laws. This will include:

• Two rules and regulations on some applications of the PADV Act need to be made clear as well as reporting mechanisms. Most importantly the need for public awareness of the legislation is vital for its effects to be felt among citizens.
• Urge the Government to enact a New Constitution
• Lobby the government to make relevant amendments to the penal code to criminalize all forms of gender based violence.
• Urge the government to amend the Sexual Offences Act so as to recognize the existence of marital rape and criminalize it.
• Advocate for the ratification and domestication of International human rights instruments that aim at eliminating violence, this includes the Maputo Protocol
• Conducting of public awareness and sensitization campaigns aimed at discouraging all forms of Gender Based Violence.

Eradicating FGM Among Kenya’s Kisii.

Available data from the Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS)2014 shows Kisii county having the second highest prevalence of female genital mutilation at 84.4%per cent followed by the Maasai at 76% while the Somali leading at 93.6%.

Statistics show that 8 out of every 10 girls were subjected to FGM but this could soon change as an emerging number of survivors have opened up on the disadvantages and their current woes for going under the knife.

FGM in this community is stated as a pre-requisite for any woman seeking to make them’marriageable and respectable’ and is reportedly said to help them control sexual desires before marriage and ensure fidelity (especially within polygamous marriages).

Cutting was done with celebration but has recently become secretive due to prohibition and strict penalties facing perpetrators of FGM.

Traditionally FGM was performed from 15 years in preparation for marriage but now it’s typically performed on girls aged 8-10 years. The most common is Type one, Clitoridectomy, where the hood of the Clitoris is cut off.

Dr. Grace Okong’o training participants at hall in Borabu, Kisii County.

FGM in this community is also a popular means of additional income for nurses and midwives.

Medicalization of FGM among the elites in Kisii still remains the biggest challenge. The elites uphold this practise by underplaying the reason that equipment used and the pain experienced can be tackled by performing FGM in clean environs by medical officers and nurses. A move that has been prohibited by the Health Ministry. Any medic caught abetting FGM will have his/her lisence revoked.
Hope Foundation for African Women is a non governmental organization that has deployment a different approach to help curb the practice in Nyamira County, Kisii .

HopeFAW was launched in 2011, it uses Popular Education (Education for critical consciousness) technique to inspire the local community and drive them to action.

The module evokes deep conversation by creating an environment that people can trust each other and share ideas /experiences. Participants are challenged to do some soul searching.

Dr. Grace Okong’o founder of the organization calls it “The methodology that penetrates inside people’s hearts”  Hailing from this community, she understands her people well and she knows how to drive them to action.

The organization works with the local committee that includes chiefs, teachers, police, health officials, church leaders, gender office and county representatives of Borabu Sub County.

Through training, Hope Foundation teaches Women their Rights linking FGM to abuse of human rights and the fact that the practice is constitutionally unlawful.


Dr. Grace Okong’o crowning jubilant graduand’s.

They explain to them how the tradition is holding them back contributing to poverty and under development, comparing them to their neighbouring community, the Luo who are learned and are economically stable since they don’t practice FGM.

The trainers are also taught skills that empower them economically. The training is done for six months. They too learn how to become activists using a work plan and objectives which they use for campaign and economic activity. After training, they graduate and are awarded certificates.

The foundation also incorporates men. Men in Kisii are known to be very rigid. Since it’s a patriarchal society where decisions have to be made by the men, Grace learns how to involve them in the campaign without infringing on their beliefs.

The training aims at teaching them how to respect and involve their women in decision making. And why they should spare their daughters from the cut.


Primary schools have also been their main target. They empower children to speak. The children learn the effects of FGM and grow up knowing it is wrong.

Pupils of Matutu SDA primary school acting a play on effects of FGM.

FGM in Borabu Sub County is almost no more. Grace hopes to take the campaign to the whole of Kisii with the right support. I believe if this module is pasted to other FGM prevalent regions. We can completely wipe it out in Kenya.

For more information about Hope Foundation please visit their website

Yes, the youth can indeed end FGM!

Children and young people up to the age of 24 account for up to 70 percent of the population of most developing countries. They represent enormous potential for social and political change indicators for four of the eight Millennium Development Goals. (MDG 2,3,4 and 6) specifically mention girls and boys at the target group for other MDG’s particularly in the field of sex and reproductive health.

We are the Change agents,  the Revolutionists. A new beginning starts with us. A new world is definitely moulded by us. We are the voice and the the driving force behind the developments to eliminate harmful customs and traditional practices.

We are the Pacesetters,  the determiners, the future of the next generation is destined in us. We are the shapers of this world, we can shape it the best way possible since we have the power to advocate for change.

We are the innovators, most creative ideas generate within us. We have the right technology that we can incorporate in our campaign to end FGM.

We have the energy to work, energy to lead, ability to influence decision making, ability to influence policy formation and law enforcement.

We have unique talents: ability to sing, write and dance. We can use our various talents to drive Anti-FGM messages home. We have the energy, our concerted effort can wipe out the practice.

We are the future leaders, doctors, midwives, social workers, teachers. We are therefore supposed to take up the leadership roles now. We are practically the leaders of our countries. Let us use this power to direct and influence change.

It is necessary that we learn now why FGM and early child/forced marriages is wrong so that we can grow in a society that condemns these practices. Do we in the first place really know about the practice? How can we influence change without the knowledge? Let’s start by empowering young people with the right information through education. Education is key in eradicating this practices, we need to pioneer for interactive resources that can be used in a classroom setting, both formal and informal education, Mali, Kenya and Burkina Faso have done it. This way children do not accept FGM unquestionably as an inviolable tradition. Through education, young people learn to think for themselves and make decisions for themselves and future families.

We need to realize that we can not work as stand-alone entities. Let’s come together, tap into available resources, converge all our unique talents and abilities, form  national movements, speak with one voice and move with synergy towards eradicating FGM and other social malpractices. Let’s create a national dialogue, engage the key players and create relationship with all the activists campaigning against FGM.

Let us not focus on teaching young people solely from FGM affected background, it is necessary to educate all young people. FGM is a human right abuse and therefore “Everybody’s business”

It is my business..

There is a future after the cut…

Group of Youth around Kenya and their support leaders during The Girl Generation Conference
Group of Youth around Kenya and their support leaders during The Girl Generation Conference

Working with activists, survivors, support groups, organizations whose core goal is ‘Ending FGM in Kenya’, I meet Alice Masinte at The Girl Generation conference. A conference that encouraged the youth to dialogue towards concerting effort to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Kenya.

Alice,25, third born in a family of ten (four girls and six boys), underwent the cut in 2002 while she was in class six.

“The pain was excruciating, they cut off everything,” she explains her ordeal during a brief interview with me. I can clearly see the pain in her eyes as she stops to talk for a minute and breaks down. This is heart wrenching…and immediately sends shudders through my veins. I can feel her pain.

She gathers courage and continues, “the procedure was so  crude,  I almost bled to death.” 

Even before she had healed, her father was still at it. He had secretly received dowry payment and arranged that she marries an old man enough to be her fathers age.
This,she learnt from her mother who helped her to escape to a nearby catholic church.
She was enrolled at a local Catholic Missionary School and after intense counselling,now fully recovered she resumed her studies.

She became a pariah at home but concentrated on her studies. She performed well and was admitted to Egerton University where she pursued a diploma course in Agriculture and Extension.

Alice got a job as a Biology and Agriculture teacher in Kisumu at a girls school.
Now enjoying fruits of a learned professional, she joined hands with like minded village peers from Loitoktok and launched a campaign to fight FGM.

Network of Youths in Action (NOYA) was born bringing together 99 youth. She was elected as the founding chairlady as well as the key ambassador.

She quit her teaching job and now focuses on visiting local primary and secondary schools teaching girls on the effects of the cut while encouraging especially those who have undergone the cut that there is life after the experience.

She urges parents not to subject girls to the cut because it does not make them superior than those uncut. It only subjects them to pain and other adverse health complications. 

NOYA has been working with morans under a program called Morans for Girl Child Education and Empowerement (M4GEE). They have successfully been able convince morans to lead in the fight to end FGM. They have also involved local leaders and even religious leaders in their dialogue.

She is grateful that her zeal has been able to save her youngest sister and a few other girls, since they have rightfully escaped the cut. She vows to save more girls.

Alice is Shrewd, I admire her courage and determination. I feel success in her struggle to end FGM.

With Christine Gati

Christine Ghati-An Inspiration at the Guardian Media Academy, #EndFGM- 

During my interaction at The Guardian Media Academy training that took place in October 2015, I met a young passionate Anti-FGM activist,Human rights defender, Chistine Ghati. Christine inspired me a great deal.

Christine was born and raised in Kuria community, Migori County. She is a first born in a family of five, with two brothers and two sisters. She is a student at Karatina University where she is pursuing Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science. She is a volunteer at Education Centre for Advancement of Women (ECAW) a community based organization funded by county women Rep Hon. Denita Ghatia. Christine is a role model to many.

Christine considers herself very lucky to have escaped the cut in a region where FGM is quite rampant, almost 8 out of 10 girls from this region have undergone the cut. She solely owes it to her late father who passed on when she was 8 years old, just before her initiation age. Girls in Kuria county are cut at the age of 12 and above. Her dad had however left a message to her mother that none of her girls should undergo the cut.

With Christine Gati
I and Christine Ghati (right)

When Christine reached her rightful initiation age, she received a lot of pressure from friends and family. Her mother also received a lot of pressure from her circle. They both held firm on their decision. Christine too had learnt about the effects of FGM through training from Action Aid trainers who were going around schools to educate young girls. She made it a personal choice not to undergo the cut.

Christine’s family was denied economic assistance from the extended family for they withdrew all forms of support.

The struggling family turned to God for hope. Her mother had to serve around local hotels in order to feed her family. Life became really tough. She recalls days and nights that they could go without food…

Christine became a loner, none of her age mates associated with her. She couldn’t play, walk and talk to her peers. She opted to stay indoors. She only left on Sundays to teach Sunday school at her local church. She loved playing with the kids and made them her friends.

After completion of primary school. Luck befell her, someone from California was visiting her local church. He noticed her unique talent and developed interest in her. He learnt about her financial woes and volunteered to support her through her secondary education. He paid her school fees and upkeep all through the four years. She feels bad that she has been unable to reach this person and just thank him for his kindness. She has never seen nor heard from him again. I could see tears welling up her eyes. I consoled her, he was heaven sent, angels are real.

She performed exemplary in her form four exams. She scored an A- and became the best student ever to have scored that mark in the whole of Migori county. Now the whole community was proud of her and wanted to associate with her. Her unending financial woes came up again. Her mother was unable to afford her university fees. They prayed to their dear Lord. Her mother decided to organize for a fundraising and to their surprise, the poor village raised almost 400,000 shilling, (Approximately USD4,000) The collected monies supported her siblings school fees too.
She too applied for Higher Education Loan and was granted. She is comfortably about to finish her fourth year.

Christine’s passion to end FGM started when she was in primary school. She could gather a few girls during break time and encourage them not to pursue the the cut. Some agreed some distanced from her.  During high school, one of her supportive uncle and friend introduced her to ECAW, a community organization that advocates for alternative rights of passage-during seclusion period where girls are taught the same things they are supposed to learn but minus the cut. Graduation ceremony and certificates are also awarded.

She loves working for ECAW since it has exposed her to other great opportunities. In 2014 one of the sponsors noticed her talking to elders using a story telling technique which triggered people to respond. She could then drive her Anti-FGM message home; which was a nice and unique technique in changing people’s attitudes towards FGM.

Christine Ghati (Centre) receiving a certificate from Anti-FGM chair Dr. Jebii Kilimo during The Guardian Media End FGM academy Graduation at the Serena Hotel, Nairobi.
Christine Ghati (Centre) receiving a certificate from Anti-FGM chair Dr. Jebii Kilimo during The Guardian Media End FGM academy Graduation at the Serena Hotel, Nairobi.

Early this year, she was nominated for the Queens Young Leaders program. A program by the Queen of England aimed at equipping young leaders who are doing great work in the community with necessary leadership skills. She is one of the pioneers from the 53 commonwealth countries. She is among the 8 applicants from Kenya. 3 young leaders received the award by the Queen. The remaining five are runners up and all qualify for mentorship program in the Cambridge University on leadership skills.

She is currently pursuing the online training and hopes to graduate by the end of the year. She enjoys the virtual learning experience, VLE since she gets exposure and share opportunities amongst the students. She recently got nominated as a delegate among other two Kenyans at the Commonwealth Youth Gender and Equality Network, CYGEN launched in Malta, Europe May 2015.

A charity organization in UK, Feed the Minds partnering with ECAW is participating in a Royal Park half marathon aimed at ending the cycle on FGM. Christine is among the global participants who are running the race on 11th of Oct aimed at creating awareness on FGM and raising funds for the project of ending FGM in Kuria.

As I speak with her, an email checks in on her phone. She smiles while holding one hand on her mouth. Mixture of happiness and shock.  Yes, she had been selected for the commonwealth youth forum in Malta Europe in  Oct 21st- 25th

She bestows all this to her father and her passion to end FGM.

Behind this strong, passionate dedicated courageous beautiful girl. I meet the inner Christine. She is very afraid. She is still battling with fear. She does not trust her environment. She has never recovered fully from the FGM pressure and threats. She hopes she will, one day..

She plans to live, work and get married in Kuria Community, just to witness the end of FGM.


On one occasion, while having a grand-daughter grand-father moment, I got a chance to ask my old grandfather (96yrs) some questions that had been bugging me for a long time. Now that I was no longer a child I felt that that was the right time to boldly ask him this sensitive question; why don’t The Banyore practice FGM?  The answer was quite flabbergasting!

At his age, he could still articulate well and yes I loved his sense of humor! I would sleep on aching ribs. I loved him and I miss him. He passed on a few months after our candid talk.

My grandfather was a chauvinist; he had very low regard for women. He despised women who wore high heels, or those who sought for power and especially women news anchors/broadcasters (what can they tell people) I guess those were his thoughts. He would simply tune to a different radio station for news when he heard a voice of a female anchor. He felt that all women belonged to the kitchen and that that was their rightful place. He headed barazas and the only time women were invited was when tea was to be served. As a matter of fact I would never visit him dressed in trousers; on my first attempt he warned me and even threatened to reduce them to rugs, so I heeded to his advice,  (Ops that was more of a command than advice). As for the heels, he warned me that one woman fell down terribly and almost lost her life in heels and it would be sad if I followed suit! He, however, preferred slender to mid-sized women and slammed on fat ones, ouch! In a way, he was the perfect vestige of an old patriarchal age when men called the shots and women heeded and still held fast to his belief in men’s absolute power to shape their destiny and those of women they interacted with.

Back to his answer about why my community does not practice FGM. He took some time to reminisce, then came out again. The first attempt to mutilate a woman had turned tragic.

He explained that the first and the last act was carried out years ago in a small village of Itumbu, 2km from the famous Luanda Market. The husband to this married woman had complained of her promiscuity to the council of elders. The council therefore decided to perform an FGM act on her in order to contain her ‘steam’ and also serve as a deterrent to other women.

Unfortunately, the woman passed on that very evening while the council was celebrating the achievement at a fireplace and local brew fest. They were perturbed when they heard screams from that homestead. To their dismay, the woman had bled to death. Several expensive rituals had to be conducted for a number of days. The act was viewed as heinous and was seriously condemned. The astonishing incident instilled fear in the entire community.

This took me aback and created a little moral dilemma. Wait; was it good that she passed on or was it good that the death inspired a tradition change and went on to shape our tradition and spare women like me in the future, albeit from that physical manifestation of male dominion?

According to my community, death is seen as bad omen. We do not tolerate deliberate death or suicide. If a person commits suicide, they are buried in the middle of the night where total silence is observed and all lights dimmed. The dead person is at first slapped around and condemned for his foolishness. This is done to serve as a deterrent to others.

If someone kills another, either deliberately or accidentally, they have to undergo rituals in order to make peace with the dead. If not the spirit of the dead haunts them for the rest of their life!

Back to my story….

We, however, haven’t fully escaped from the practice since my sisters are married off to neighboring communities that practice FGM such as The Kuria, and are somehow compelled to pursue the act. It remains something that our current council of elders is seriously looking into.

In my clan, to curb FGM, my uncles had to triple the bride price (to make it tough to acquire a nyore woman) when my aunt was forced to be circumcised a few years after being married into the Kuria community. FGM is still rampant among the Kuria. Additionally my uncles paid a visit to the community and declared that any attempt to circumcise the Banyore women married in the Kuria community would lead to conflict and also forbid intermarriages between the two communities. That act of tragedy has transformed the male in my community into unwitting gender activists in their own right!

In the past week, I have been lucky to engage with The Guardian Media team from the UK. Last year they launched a global media campaign against FGM. Last week they held a first of its kind media academy where FGM activists from FGM-practicing communities converged to share experiences and learn how to use media to end FGM. The Academy dubbed #EndFGMacademy  brought together young activists from Kenya, Gambia and Nigeria. It was an eye-opening experience and I also got to rub shoulders with some of my Kenyan female idols!

Me with Dr. Linah Jebii Kilimo, former Minister and current Chairperson of the Anti-FGM Board.
Me with Dr. Linah Jebii Kilimo, former Minister and current Chairperson of the Anti-FGM Board.

My quest to learn more and write more on FGM was born or rather reborn! Now it is not just an abiding security but practical quest to actually share and rediscover. It is still something that people take for granted and I think the consequences can be quite tragic as the Banyore learned years ago. I will now use any available platform including my new blog to bring out stories like these.

For those not yet familiar with FGM, if there are still any souls left, here is a little induction:-

So what is FGM?

Female genital mutilation/cutting comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs, or any harmful procedure to the female genitalia, for non medical reasons

According to WHO, FGM has been classified into four major types,

  • Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals) and, in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).
  • Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (the labia are “the lips” that surround the vagina).
  • Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris.
  • Other: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.

Several efforts/approaches have been brought forth to end FGM in Kenya. The enactment of the Anti-FGM Act in 2011 paved way for the formation of the Anti-FGM Board. The Board headed by Dr. Linah Jebii Kilimo has the mandate

“To prohibit the practice of female genital mutilation, to safeguard against violation of a person’s mental or physical integrity through the practice of female genital mutilation and for connected purposes”

The government through its constitution, passed the Children’s Act, 2001 which protects children from harmful cultural rites and which specifically states

“No person shall subject a child to female circumcision, early marriage or other cultural rites, customs or traditional practices that are likely to negatively affect the childs life, health, social welfare or physical or psychological development” (Kenya 2001,Sec. 14)

NGOs continue to sensitize communities on effects of FGM. Communities like the Maasai have opted for alternative rites of passage

The media is also coming in to bridge the awareness creation gap. I believe FGM will be totally wiped out in Kenya.

A journey starts with a mile……