Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Two mothers among 168 girls circumcised

By Nation Correspondent

Two women, including a mother of four, were among 168 teenage girls circumcised in Marakwet East and Pokot Central districts on Tuesday.

Nineteen girls were the first to go through the outlawed rite at Tigenuo Village in Kombases sub-location in the Kerio Valley.

They were circumcised early in the morning, following observation of the position of the moon, a traditional indicator.

A 37-year-old mother of two, who had resisted the rite, gave in at Karamwar Village after her husband allegedly demanded that she be circumcised or he would not continue living with a “child” any more.

Another mother of four, 39, consented to the cut in Chepsigot Village in Kerio Valley, saying she had been ridiculed for far too long.

A woman who is not circumcised in the area is not recognised as an adult.

The mother joined teenage initiates in seclusion where they will stay until mid-January, next year, when they will graduate.

The other initiates were girls aged between nine and 11 years, from villages in the area, even though circumcision of girls is banned by the government.

A number of girls have fled their homes for fear of being forcibly subjected to the rite of passage.

Lobby groups accused the local district children’s department of doing little to protect the rights of innocent and under-age children

However, the Marakwet district children’s officer, Mr Peter Kutere was, not available for comment.