Serving The People

Cultural taboos hamper fight against FGM in Gusii -Stakeholders decry

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Participants at the 16th edition of Muungano Gender Forum ,a nongovernmental organization in Kisii follow proceedings of the Forum at St Vincent Pastoral Resort in Kisii town PHOTO/BRIGHTON MAKORI

Stakeholders in the anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) crusade have said the harmful cultural rite of passage has refused to go despite application of  multiple approaches.

Panelists at the 16th edition of  Muungano Gender Forum ,a nongovernmental  organization in Kisii  claimed there was no  collective good will towards the FGM’s eradication as the  prevalence rate stood at 84% within the region.

They cited medicalization, cultural taboos and extreme secrecy as hurdles hampering the  fight against the retrogressive practice.

Margaret Mogaka who is a medic, said secrete perpetuation of the practice by her colleagues in the profession had complicated its stamping out.

Mogaka added that existing laws might not have done enough to eradicate FGM during the stakeholder’s monthly meetings at St. Vincent Pastoral Resort in Kisii town.

Rachel Okong’o, added that the local community’s cultural practices inhibiting discussion on sexuality matters sexuality are hampering their efforts to the anti FGM crusaders, since they cannot effectively sensitize the local community.

Okong’o suggested medics, individuals and the community embrace commitment to collectively tackle the practice even through use of the new curriculum in schools.  

She further recommended involvement of government security apparatus including grassroots committees to stamp out the practice.

According to Tony Mworia who is a community health worker the practice’s medicalization did not sanitize its life-long consequences on the girl-child thus the urgent need to condemn it.

Douglas Arege who is the Kisii county director of children, suggested  application of personal, legal  and  political solutions if the FGM was to be abolished.

Speaking in a different forum Kenyenya sub County Deputy County Commissioner David Mbevi said that FGM is among the social cultural Violence which is denying girls their rights in the region. Hence should be avoided.

 “Gender based violence cases are at high rise in Kenyenya. But I want to assure residents that we as government we have set measures to curb the problem’, he asserted.

Adding that all the Peace committees have been tasked to put in place measures to bring to book perpetrators.