As Kenyans joins the rest of the world to mark Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation the vice remains high in Kenya despite collective efforts to phase it out.
According to WHO Kenya has made tremendous strides in sensitizing the masses against FGM and many is now embracing the clarion call to have it phased out completely.
“On 2 February, WHO and HRP hosted an event with the Government of Kenya to celebrate the country’s strong commitment to FGM abandonment by 2030. Kenya has developed an accelerated comprehensive national plan. The event brought together representatives from the Ministry of Health and other related ministries addressing FGM, along with United Nations agencies, development partners, donors, health professional associations and civil society. The speakers shared their perspectives on national, regional and global efforts to end FGM, focusing on the crucial role of the health sector as part of multi-sectoral efforts.’’ Statement by WHO reads.
A nurse and survivor of FGM, Catherine Chacha Menganyi shared her experiences and work, encouraging others to form networks and speak out with a collective voice to lead to impactful action.
“I am a survivor of FGM. When I was 12, my parents, who are well-educated, decided to go along with our culture and community, but chose to have a healthcare provider perform the cut. I knew the provider very well and it took me many years to let go of the harm she caused and to forgive her. She had every reason not to cut me, but she did. When I underwent the cut, I was outside near my home, surrounded by relatives and people who knew me. I was covered with cloths and there were loud noises of celebration. I felt agitated and confused wondering what was going to happen next and if I would bleed to death. From the day I was cut, I carried pain, stigma and emotional, psychological trauma. The pain is always there.” Cathrine said.
BY ALLAN OTIENO