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Pregnant girls circumcised

Monday December 7 2009


Two pregnant girls were forcefully circumcised in Pokot Central District as the season for the rite got under way in the North Rift region.

According to Ms Lilian Plapan, the chairperson of Setat Women Organisation, the girls aged 15 and 16 years were circumcised at the weekend in Kaptabuk village in preparation for their marriage.

According to the Pokot community, it is a taboo to marry uncircumcised women and girls who fall pregnant have to be initiated before giving birth.

Mrs Plapan said a Form Three student at Kaibichbich Girls Secondary School ran away from home and sought refuge at a rescue centre for girls escaping from forced circumcision and early marriage in Makutano township, West Pokot District.

Some 140 under-age girls have been circumcised in the larger West Pokot District since the season started last week.

Anti-FGM crusaders have reported that 30 girls have been circumcised in Kapenguria and Kong’elai, 48 in Alale and Kiwawa, and 66 in Chesegon and Sigor.


In Marakwet, three girls were rescued from the rite in Tirap and Embobut.

“They are being taken care of by nuns at Saint Luke Catholic church in Tot,” said Ms Maryhylda Kiplagat, the programme officer at Marakwet Girls and Women Organisation.

In a related development, an organisation that fights the practice has written to the United Nations to force the government to intervene and save 350 girls expected to be circumcised in North Rift this season.

The executive director of the Inter-African Committee (IAC) on traditional practices, Ms Berhane Ras-Work, said the State should take action against circumcisers.

“By this letter, we would like to appeal to you to stop this gruesome ritual,” she said.

The letter follows that of Canadian MP Keith Martin to the UN and the African Union, condemning the ongoing female circumcision.

Reported by Edward Koech, Barnabas Bii, and Peter Ngetich