The five students of Kisumu Girls' High School who developed a mobile app to fight Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) are among finalists for the Sakharov Prize 2019.
The girls' group named The Restorers got the nomination for the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for the Freedom of Thought, whose finalists were selected on Wednesday.
The prize is by the European Parliament's political groups and individual members.
“[It] will be awarded in a ceremony in Parliament’s hemicycle in Strasbourg on December 18,” read a statement by Beatrice Hongo, the Press and Information Officer of the Delegation of the European Union to Kenya.
The European Parliament awards the Sakharov Prize every year to honour exceptional individuals and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The i-Cut app allows young woman to seek medical and legal aid before or after forcibly undergoing FGM.
The app’s interface has five buttons with the options ‘help’, ‘rescue’, ‘report’, ‘information on FGM’ and ‘donate and feedback’.
The first three allow girls to seek immediate help, find a rescue centre or report cases to authorities in countries where the practice is illegal.
i-Cut is so ingenious that it was a finalist in the 2017 Technovation Challenge aimed at fostering participation by women in the technology field.
It has the potential to be a vital resource in the fight against FGM.
“FGM can lead to serious health complications and even death," Ms Hongo noted.
"Girls subjected to FGM are also at increased risk of becoming child brides and dropping out of school, threatening their ability to build a better future for themselves and their communities.”
The app is designed to help and allow girls to decide their own destinies.
“Our hope goes beyond the app, recognising that this act of hope and self-determination will also push the emancipation of girls on the global agenda and encourage such initiatives," Ms Hongo said.