Female Genital Mutilation is associated with child marriages, teen pregnancies, and school dropouts. During the International Women’s Day celebrations for Isiolo County in Kinna, ActionAid International Kenya (AAIK) joined the county and other stakeholders in urging the community to respect girls’ rights and help them realize their dreams by ending FGM/C.
Isiolo County is one of the 22 Female Genital Mutilation hot spots in Kenya. Statistics indicate that about two-thirds (65%) of girls aged between 15-19 years have undergone the practice compared to the national average of 21%. ActionAid Kenya is implementing an FCDO-funded programme, the Africa Led Movement (ALM), to end Female genital mutilation and foster respect for girls’ and women’s rights in the county.
“When girls undergo FGM, they drop out of school, and others get married off. I urge my community to shun this vice and give our girls a chance to be in school. When girls get educated, they don’t become ‘disrespectful’ as misinterpreted by many. They will come back and uplift their families. I am a living example, my parents gave me a chance to go to school, and after my education, I am back in Isiolo to enlighten my community.’’ Diram Duba, AAIK Project Coordinator for the ALM to End FGM programme, Isiolo County
Through a speech by the Deputy Governor’s wife, the county leadership reiterated its commitment to ensuring that the girl child is protected from FGM.
“As we mark this International Women’s Day, I wish to reiterate the leadership commitment to support our women and protect our girls. I urge our communities to join in protecting our girls by ending Female Genital Mutilation.” Stated Christine Lowassa, Deputy Governor’s wife, Isiolo County
The Girl Generation programme is implemented by a consortium led by Options Consultancy Services, and ActionAid Kenya, Amref Health Africa, Orchid Project, Africa Coordination Centre for Abandonment of FGM/C and the University of Portsmouth as members.
Author: Ezra Kiriago (Communications Coordinator, ActionAid Kenya)