Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the ritual removal or cutting off of some or all of the external female genitalia.
This act is an infringement of women and girls’ right to be free from torture, cruel, degrading and any harmful practice.
In Kenya, young girls and women are usually forced to undergo the cut for social acceptance, religious identity, marriageability and personal hygiene.
However, FGM has no health benefits to women and girls.
In fact, there is evidence that FGM is injurious and painful and can lead to permanent conditions like fistula and HIV infection.
It can also lead to complications during childbirth, which can lead to the death of mother and child.
Moreover, FGM can lead to girls dropping out of school and child marriage.
The fact that FGM is still practised in Kenya reflects the deep-rooted inequality between men and women.
For Kenya to get to zero cases of FGM, there is need for both county and national governments to implement the set policies that protect women and girls from FGM and other harmful practices to the letter.
There is also need for them to work with parents, community, religious leaders and the youth to create awareness on the dangers of the FGM practice.
ESTHER NDINYA, Kisumu