By Christine Tarayie Musa
Among key agenda of the 179 member state International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) hosted by the country recently was female genital mutilation (FGM).
Anti-FGM crusaders observed during the meeting that the vice has vice declined in Kajiado giving hundreds of girls a chance to go to school.
The crusaders observed that drop was as a result of intense sensitization against the vice by government and non-governmental organisations.
The arrest of accomplices and perpetrators including chiefs has also contributed to the drop.
“The 2013 incident where a 13-years-old girl lost her life after excessive bleeding occasioned by the cut was a great lesson that sent panic across Kajiado. Jailing of the arrested persons involved has also served as a great lesson. Interdiction of chiefs also served as a big lesson to chiefs. My area has now recorded 95% drop of the practice,”narrated Shadrack Mutetia, Elang’ata Wuas Senior Chief.
Maasai morans including some who are illiterate have also joined the fight against FGM after understanding its consequences. For instance Magadi ward morans chaired by Jeremiah Kutanya have for the last two years been conducting door-to -door sensitization programmes targeting to influence men to campaign against the vice.
Evaline Nashipae of Seventh Day Adventist rescue centre says at least 80 per cent of women and girls across Kajiado are aware that FGM is an illegal practice.
“If girls are aware from a tender age about FGM’s consequences on their health and that there are rescue centers to run to for assistance,” she said.
“We are now concerned about climate change and how drought has affected milk business among women. Since most of our girls are in school women need to be empowered further to support the girls well being,” said Ilaramatak director Agnes Leina.
In the past one year more than 100 women have been impacted on skills of making mats and tailoring.
“Some of us who got the opportunity to acquire education have a big role to play in ensuring we mentor our young girls to pursue education and transform our community, ‘says Zipporah Sawaina presenter at Mayian FM.