“When Ending FGM is not the immediate need”

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The layman point of view! In recent days’ crazy numbers of girls undergoing FGM have been reported in several parts of Kenya. This has left many anti FGM crusaders shocked and disappointed at the gaping reality that some of their efforts may have gone down the drains. But come to think of it; what is the common factor in the areas where these numbers are emanating from?

Insecurity; someone say Insecurity! The ranging ethnic fighting cattle rustling and political tension in these areas have made the system dysfunctional. It simply means the authorities have bigger issues to deal with than FGM. Before you start castigating me remember the police officers and other state agencies are busy trying to preserve the gift of life and deal with women, girls and others who have been displaced by these skirmishes.

Well this does not justify any girl undergoing the cut but it’s the hard reality, authorities and the anti FGM crusaders cannot swing into action. The deviant community members have hence opted to take advantage of the situation to mutilate the innocent girls in ‘whole-sale’. Remember the common saying, “in times of war, the law falls silent”

Let’s put things into perspective, it’s extremely difficult to sensitize community members and protect them from harmful cultural practices in communities where there is high insecurity/fighting. I bet this has also been a major contributing factor in Somalia where we have prevalence as high as 98%. Anti-FGM crusaders therefore need to combine efforts with peace crusaders and other key players dealing with starvations and other communal dysfunctions in order to make their work easier and efficient.

All is not lost though we soldier on and we are better prepared to deal with this “monster” called FGM and other harmful cultural practices.



Tony Mwebia

Tony Mwebia

Gender Equality Advocate, Writer, Activist & Consultant

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