Breaking the Silence: Peresina Lesingirani’s Fight Against FGM

In Loruko, Isiolo County, a powerful movement is taking root. It began with a single, courageous voice, Peresina Lesingirani, a survivor of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), who decided that silence was no longer an option. Despite facing backlash from her community, Peresina spoke out, driven by an unwavering determination to protect the next generation of girls from the pain and trauma she endured.

“For years, I lived with the physical and emotional scars of FGM,” Peresina shares.”But the thought of other girls going through the same horror gave me the strength to speak up. I could not stay silent.”

Peresina Lesingirani engages in a reflective session with fellow women from Isiolo County, fostering community dialogue on women’s and girls’ rights.

Her bravery was met with resistance but also sparked a wave of support. Over the past year, Peresina has gained allies who recognize the deep-seated harm caused by this practice. Fellow women, the Men for Change group, some cultural leaders, and organizations like ActionAid Kenya through the Girl Generation Programme, a programme under the Africa Led Movement to end FGM/C have rallied around her cause. Together, they are challenging long-standing traditions and advocating for the rights of women and girls.

“FGM is not just a cultural practice; it is a violation of human rights,” Peresina asserts. “With the support from ActionAid Kenya and our community allies, we are making strides towards a future where every girl can live free from the fear of FGM and realize her dreams.”

The Men for Change group has been instrumental in shifting attitudes within the community. These men are breaking the cycle of silence and becoming vocal advocates against FGM, emphasizing that it is not a cultural necessity but a harmful practice that needs to end. Cultural leaders who once upheld the tradition are now joining the movement, recognizing the importance of protecting their daughters and granddaughters from harm.

“Seeing men and cultural leaders stand with us has been incredibly empowering,” says Peresina. “It shows that change is possible when we unite for a common cause.”

According to the Kenya Demographic Health Survey 2022, the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation declined from 38% in 1998 to 15% in 2022. This significant decrease is a testament to the impact of advocacy and education efforts.

Peresina’s story is not just one of survival but of resilience and transformation. Her journey from silence to strength is paving the way for a new era in Loruko. Through community outreach, education, and advocacy, she and her allies are creating a safer, more hopeful future for girls.

“As a community, we are breaking the chains of FGM and empowering our girls to chase their dreams,” Peresina declares. “The road ahead is long, but with unity and determination, we will succeed.”

Peresina Lesingirani, a dedicated community leader, champions the rights of marginalized women and girls in her village, bringing hope and change through her tireless advocacy efforts.

Peresina Lesingirani’s fight against FGM is a testament to the power of speaking out and the impact one person can have in driving social change. Her story inspires hope and underscores the importance of collective action in the battle against harmful practices.

“Together, we are paving the way for a future where every girl can live free from the fear of FGM and realize her dreams,” Peresina affirms, her voice strong and unwavering.

In Loruko and Isiolo County, a new dawn has broken, a dawn where silence is no longer an option, and the voices of survivors like Peresina Lesingirani are leading the charge toward a brighter, safer future for girls.

Author: Ezra Kiriago ,Communications Coordinator ActionAid Kenya.




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