Female Genital Mutilation
FGM is a harmful practice and a violation of women’s human rights that involves the removal of the external female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
FGM has no health benefits. On the contrary, it damages the tissues of the genitals and hinders the natural functioning of the female organ. In addition, it is never practiced by health experts. Most often, it is done by traditional old women who use blades without any anesthetic or painkillers. This practice causes a high risk of infection and many obstetric risks such as hemorrhage, sepsis, severe pain, childbirth complications and in some cases, death.
Although illegal, the practice still continues in several parts of Kenya including Elegyo Marakwet where communities believe FGM is a necessary rite of passage for girls and young women.
Most of the young girls in Elgeyo Marakwet have their destinies determined from child birth, they are to follow a tradition of going through FGM at puberty and thereafter getting married off and starting families at a young age. This also marks the end of their education since in most communities, it is not about the quality of education and skills for future but about socializing girls for marriage and adulthood.
Education is an important mechanism to increase awareness of the dangers of FGM among girls and young women in communities that practice it. Education also provides opportunities for individuals to take on social roles that are not dependent on the practice of FGM for acceptance.
And for this reasons RTSEF is using education to empower girls to end FGM through education sponsorship. Theres no better time than now when we can hold our sisters’ hands and empower them through education.