Blog posts from our network of grassroots activists and research academics
Guest blog by Zahra from SIMAHO
As an ancient tribal tradition, FGM has been adopted by many countries, particularly in Africa. It is wrongly believed to be a religious requirement and done to “protect” girls. Also, it is believed to prevent excessive clitoral growth and preserve virginity to ensure marriageability. Therefore, it has highly affected many village girls in Kenya with levels highest among Somali and Muslim women. From the age of six and up to teenage years, girls have forcibly undergone FGM. This action is a five-level effect; childhood, girlhood, marriage and sexual intercourse, pregnancy and childbirth, and later life.
Guest Blog by ZamZam Jama, Youth Anti FGM Somaliland
FGM/C is a traditional practice in which part of or the entire external female genitalia is removed. Some communities refer to it as female circumcision (FC). The severe effects of FGM/FGC on the health of girls and women have been widely documented. FGM/FGC results in complications at birth for both mother and child, sometimes leading to death. The practice has strong repercussions on the health of women and on the social, political and economic fabric at individual and community levels.
Guest blog by Valerian Mganiis, an anti-FGM campaigner from Tanzania and a member of Arukah Network.
FGM is engrained in our culture. Where I live and work, it is believed to be an order from the spirit. The belief goes like this: if a girl has not been cut, then she cannot be accepted in the community. But once she has been cut, she is ready for child marriage, she can be taken out of school, and she can get pregnant at a young age. And so FGM does not just cut a girl’s body, it cuts short her life prospects too. It is at the root of all sorts of social problems that hold back women.
Guest blog by Chantalle Okondo, Assistant Program Officer with Population Council.
The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) brings awareness of the need to globally eradicate FGM/C. However, it can be difficult to ensure that no girl or women is left behind on a local level. This could not be truer when it comes to West Pokot County on the western side of Kenya, where FGM/C is nearly universal (85 - 94%)1, 2 despite the practice being outlawed by the National Government.