Female Genital Mutilation or FGM, is one of the biggest and shameful practices that are hindering the progression and full realization of the Kenyan woman’s full potential in nation building. This barbaric practice is practiced by some ethnic communities and one of them is the Kisii community in Western Kenya. This cultural practice has survived many generations and found itself in the 21st century.
But what are some of the factors that are fueling it among the Kisii community? One of the key factors is general ignorance that is prevalent among the perpetrators of the tradition. Most of the people who engage in this shameful and inhuman practice are unaware of the health risks it poses to the future of its victims especially in areas such as reproduction.
Additionally, most of the girls are arm twisted into accepting the illegal cut because they are threatened that if they refuse, nobody will marry them because they will not be “women enough” to attract a man’s hand in marriage. The other reason why the vice is still rife is that some politicians are afraid to confront it because if they do, the custodians of the vice (influential elders) will incite the locals to vote against them for “opposing the traditions of their fathers.”
But there is a ray of hope as a group of church leaders has decided to change this situation. These pastors are taking the initiative to engage in the education of the community regarding the consequences of FGM. They are now engaging the sword of the spirit (The Bible) to fight this age-long belief in that part of the country.
When the group was interviewed on national television some three months ago, they were recording substantial success and they are still upbeat that the community will support their initiative despite the lack of open support from the local political leadership.