Men challenged to join fight against female cut

Girls who underwent Alternative Right of Passage in Kisii County. PHOTO/Elizabeth Angira, The Scholar Media Africa.

More than 200 minor girls who underwent Alternative Rites of Passage training in Kisii County have ‘graduated’.

Men were challenged to be at the forefront in the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The girls graduated after a one week mentorship programme organised by Non-governmental Organizations including International Solidarity Foundation (ISF), CECOME and Manga Heart.

The girls were trained on the harmful effects of FGM, sexual reproductive health, drug abuse and leadership skills by experts from various organizations.

Community Mobilization and Empowerment Director Stella Achoki said that the minors were taught about reproductive health, child rights, harmful and good cultural practices.

Ms Achoki said taming FGM in the region is still a challenge since it has medicalized.

“The practice is done my medics more so in private hospitals,” she said.

Ms Achoki said that some health care workers were carrying out FGM practices against the law.

The practice has now moved to private clinics, within houses and estates, she disclosed.

She said the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB) should revoke licenses of doctors who may be found culpable.

Achoki said they will help circumcisers to engage in other productive businesses that will give them alternative means of livelihood,

Kisii County Police Commander Francis Kooli said that those who will be found propagating FGM will face the law.

Mr Kooli said that men can foster positive beliefs and attitudes and raise awareness on the impact of FGM.

“When we force children to undergo FGM, we violate their rights,” he said.

Mr Kooli asked parents to ensure they do not subject girls to such practices.

He challenged the community to incorporate men in the fight against FGM.

Kisii County Executive Member in charge of Administration, Ednah Kangwana said that the community is slowly embracing Alternative Rite of Passage for girls.

The ceremony helps girls to transition to womanhood without going through the cut.

“Community dialogue involving parents and boys as key stakeholders will also play a big role in ending the outlawed cultural practice,” Ms Kangwana said.

Kiogoro Assistant Commissioner Peter Nyandati, said that sensitization on FGM is in line with government declaration to end the practice by the the year 2022.

Mr. Nyandati said that the government is ready to assist those who are championing in the fight against FGM.

Studies done by Africa Coordinating Centre for the Abandonment of FGM shows that medicalization is rampant in Kisii County.

During the training, the girls asked questions on issues relevant to their lives.

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