In his reamarks at Women Deliver in Canada, President Uhuru Kenyatta, pledged to End Female Gental Mutilation by the time he will be leaving office. He said that he is committed to gender equality and negative cultural practices such as FGM do not not contribute to his agenda. So here is our short memo on how he can make the pronoucement a reality
Dear President Uhuru Kenyatta,
We welcome your pronoucement to end FGM by 2022, But what does it me to end Female Genital Mutiliation in 2 years, considering the campaign against the harmful cultural pratices has been going on for over 30 years.
Mr. President, here are a few facts and figures about FGM that you need to consider while working towards this very norbal and ambitiouse aspiration:
- 21 % of all Kenyan women and girls are cut, with communities such as Somali prevelence being as high as 94%
- FGM is enshrined in most communities in Kenya
- Medicalization of FGM is a reality and not a Myth
- in 2017/2018, the AntiFGM received Ksh. 50 Millions
- The huge relationship between FGM and Child Marraige
- Adolescent health and sex reproductive health services are still a challenge.
- The Children law is outdated and unresponsive to the current challnges facing the fight against FGM
As your right hand man Mr. Waita will ask, what are the solution. So Mr. President, as you aspire to End FGM, you will need to
- Have a strong team, a coordinated mechanism and link to counties and communities.
- Bring in religiouse and community leaders in your inner circle. Most communities still think that FGM is a religious practice.
- Ensure the affected girls and women are your key advisors. They have gone through it and are best to give you advise on how to end ti
- Members of Parliament should not only pass progressive laws, but they boost the budget allocation for key departments such as the Department of children Services, The Anti FGM Board, The National Council for Children Service, Kenya Human Rights Commission, The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, The National Police Service, The National Genger and Equality Commissions to fight the practice and ensure prosecution of the perpetriators and ensure that the victims of the practice are safe.
- Men are the custodians of most the cultural practices, it will be helpfull to call a few from the practicing communities for a breakfast meeting state house for chat on FGM.
- In some communities, the practice is a source of income, so ensuring that this women have an alternative way of getting their livelihood will ensure a few more girls are not cut.
- Mr. President, you will need to put a similar effort as your presidential campaign to the End FGM Campaign, starting from the grassroots all the way to the East African Region, it will be awesome to have a theme song too.
- Not sure how, but I think you can tap on the huduma number data system to know the exact number of children we have in Kenya. Use the data to develop targeted programs for communities with high prevelence FGM rate.
- Make free basic education a reality for all children and especially girls in the high FGM prevelence rate areas. An educated girl has 90% less chances of being cut. When I say basic, i mean provision of food so that girls are not forced to go home over lunch to get food, provision of hygiene materials (sanitary towels, soap and underwear).
- Mr. President sexual education still remains a taboo topic and hence most girls are cut out ignorance or boys and men force their sisters and daughters to be cut out of ignorace, the myth that cutting improves sexual relationships etc. But in reality this is the opposite, Mr. President consider reintroduction of age appropriate sexual education.
- Mr. President can you imagine the current children law is 18 years old, it is oudated and not speaking. so as an action fast truck the enactment of the children bill 2018 (It is somewhere between the CS and AGs office), which has a comprehensive framework of protecting children from FGM.
Finally Mr. President declare Violence Against Children including FGM, a national disaster. The figures are baaad, like really baaad….. stay tuned for the report in a few days…..
Mr. President, We are behind you and if you need help, Holla…..