First Ladies from Seven counties have sworn to champion the eradication retrogressive vice of Female Genital Mutilation from their backyards.
The First Ladies; Dr Agnes Ochillo (Migori), Emily Nyaribo (Nyamira), Alamitu Jattani (Marsabit), Scivia Kachapin (West Pokot), Edna Lenku (Kajiado), Agnes Ntutu of Narok and Sabina Mwadime of Taita Taveta committed to do campaigns to uproot the vice from their communities.
The Governor’s spouses unanimously agreed that FGM vice had denied women their rights, messed their health status and disrupted their socio-economic agenda.
We do not have a reason why we cannot end FGM with all the established laws, policies, and the establishment of the FGM Board that has played the biggest role in ensuring the vice is eradicatedAlamitu Jattani
This was during a one-week camp meeting dabbed “kambi la wasichana”, which was held in Migori to deliberate, benchmark and share ideas on how best to end FGM.
The event brought together a total of 200 Kuria girls drawn from the Kuria region who benefited from the FGM awareness campaign and were trained as Anti-FGM ambassadors.
Speaking during the closing ceremony of the event at Nyabohanse Girls High School, Ms Alamitu Jattani said that the counties where FGM was prevalent a few years ago have witnessed tremendous efforts in terms of FGM reduction thanks to the implementation of Anti FGM policies.
Ms Jattani who is the Chair of the Governor’s First Lady Association outlined that they will continue to share ideas and do benchmarking on communities that have successfully been able to eradicate the vice.
“We do not have a reason why we cannot end FGM with all the established laws, policies, and the establishment of the FGM Board that has played the biggest role in ensuring the vice is eradicated,” said Jattani.
CULTURE AND RELIGION
She also highlighted culture and religion as the tools that the perpetrators use to justify their heinous acts.
Migori First Lady Dr.Agnes Ochilo pointed out that women across Kenya were being empowered economically and those that were still hanging on the retrogressive culture of FGM had no place in modern society.
Dr.Agnes disclosed that all parties in Kuria have signed an agreement to end FGM so as to focus on transformative socioeconomic agendas and the promotion of positive Kuria traditions and cultures.
“We have already spent substantial amounts of resources in terms of time and financials on FGM. It is now time to pull resources together and utilize them well for a good course to help and empower the Kuria girls and community at large”, affirmed Dr Agnes.
When a girl undergoes FGM she is expected to be married which leads to high risks of contracting HIV infection and be a victim of Gender-based violenceCYPRIN WASIKE
She encouraged the 200 Kuria girls who were trained as Anti-FGM ambassadors to be the voice of their peers and community in advocating for their rights in ending the FGM.
Cyprin Wasike from the National Syndetic Diseases Control Council (NACC) acknowledged that FGM has been one of the predicaments that has propelled health complications among pregnant women.
He stressed that FGM has largely contributed to HIV prevalence among adolescents, with Migori County among the top counties with a high HIV prevalence rate between the ages of 15-24 years.
“When a girl undergoes FGM she is expected to be married which leads to high risks of contracting HIV infection and be a victim of Gender-based violence,” he said.
Wasike urged the elders and political leaders in FGM-practicing communities to be the voice of the voiceless in championing the Anti-FGM.
The event was also attended by Councils of Elders from Marsabit and Nyamira Counties, and the Suba and Kuria Clans of Migori County.