Kenya gender rights activists on Sunday urged the government to adopt innovative strategies to help eliminate female genital mutilation (FGM).
The campaigners decried movement of girls to neighboring countries for the cut, as some parents opt for their infants to be cut at birth and medical professionals engaging in the practice.
Isabella Mwangi, Access to Justice Officer at Centre for Rights Education and Awareness, said that pro-active measures conscious of contemporary obstacles are inevitable if Kenyan society is to be free from FGM.
“We must find workable and applicable solutions to emerging threats,” Mwangi said during an interview in Nairobi.
She said continuous awareness to keep reminding people of the harms of FGM and legal punishments for engaging or abetting the practice is pivotal to preventing people from embracing the emerging threats.
In November, Kenya’s Ministry of Public Service and Gender Affairs launched an FGM policy providing guidelines on combating the vice including conducting awareness and investing in research to establish a data bank on the outdated practice.
Shiphrah Kuria, a reproductive health specialist with Amref Health Africa, underscored the urgency of sensitizing the community and medical personnel on long-term damages of FGM.
Grace Lolim, Executive Director of Isiolo Gender Watch, said that ending FGM requires a wide range of strategies since it touches on communities’ beliefs, customs, religions and source of income. Enditem