Local News

Men should take a leading role in the fight against FGM in Kisii

Harmful traditional practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) continue to define the lives of young girls in the Gusii community.

For many years, FGM in particular has affected the social-economic well-being of school girls.

During December holidays many activities usually take place including wedding ceremonies. In the Gusii community initiation and FGM are common activities that normally take place.

With FGM, most parents take advantage of planning to travel upcountry with their daughters ready for the cut.

Businessman Okengo Nyambane says it’s time leaders, especially the male gender came out openly to campaign against the practice.

To sensitize parents and their girls, Okengo has been visiting various churches in the region amidst the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that girls are not forced into undergoing the cut during the December holidays.

“The church and individuals with influence on the community can play a critical role in the fight. Our fathers and brothers should remain at the forefront and ensure that our daughters live a healthy life,” he said.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this harmful practise has no health benefits but can cause long-term health problems.

Despite the rapid urbanization in Kisii, some families have resorted to medicalization in FGM.

“Many of our people are highly educated, despite all we still have high FGM prevalence rates. Private hospitals are conducting such activities. Unfortunately, our health officers serving in government hospitals are involved in such,” added Okengo.

By Frank Akunga

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