In Summary
  • Novel approaches could help to reduce the number of women and girls exposed to the harmful practice; else, the goal of ending FGM will remain an illusion.
  • Celebrating our culture should not be to the detriment of other people’s rights or harming and humiliating women.

Female circumcision was high on the agenda at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD+25) held in Nairobi on November 12-14.

Besides, Sustainable Development Goal 5 has one of its targets as the elimination of all harmful practices like the female ‘cut’.

In a statement to the Elders Forum on November 7 to end the practice, President Uhuru Kenyatta lamented that 9.3 million girls in Kenya have gone through the ‘cut’ over the years.

Now the government has promised to have wiped out FGM (female genital mutilation) by 2022.

However, that can only succeed if we change tack. And the best strategy is not leaving anyone behind.

Novel approaches could help to reduce the number of women and girls exposed to the harmful practice; else, the goal of ending FGM will remain an illusion.

One such approach is the deliberate inclusion of men and boys, particularly from the rural areas, in safeguarding rights for girls and women.

TESTIMONIALS

Until the menfolk understand the pain that girls and women who are subjected to the cut go through, and the effects of that action, they can do little to support the anti-FGM activists and crusaders against the vice.

More importantly, creatively get alternative income for those who profit from the practice while putting emphasis on sharing of stories by survivors.

The use of testimonies has long been overlooked to a great extent. Getting empowered women to discuss how they felt after the ‘cut’ and what they experience daily would get everyone involved in ending it.

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