The recent remarks by a popular politician in a Nakuru Whattsap platform endorsing Female Genital Mutilation -FGM have left many in shock.
The man, who is an aspirant for the London Ward Member of County Assembly, endorsed the vice, claiming that that “A female genital mutilated female organ is sweet and tight for a man”
This is disgraceful. For a leader whose mandate should be to protect the women and the girls in the country, the guts he had to claim that FGM will reduce the number of prostitutes is unfortunate.
When we just thought that Kenya has made remarkable progress in fighting FGM, another man, who calls himself a Secretary General of a movement in Kenya brings out shameful remarks about his support for FGM and brags about the support of FGM on a local TV channel looking excited and convinced that FGM is the only solution for a young girl finding a husband. This clearly exhibits how uncouth and incentive he is on the journey to reduce the prevalence of FGM in our communities.
The reckless and insensitive comments portray leaders who do not have his people’s interest at heart.
We urge the concerned parties who are responsible for the above post to come forward and explain their remarks to the world.
About FGM in Kenya
Since the middle of the last century many international and national organizations and agencies, both governmental and nongovernmental, have set up programmes to halt or reduce the prevalence of FGM. Millions of shillings have been spent on addressing the same issue here in Kenya.
Their efforts have shown the reduction of the practice largely in some parts of our counties. It has taken more than 40 years of discussion and debate regarding female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), despite all that effort this topic still remains controversial and emotive, and the practice continues.
CESRA’s Kenya and its supporter’s position is that FGM/C violates the choice of a young girl or woman regarding her sexual and reproductive health
How does FGM affect the health of women and girls?
FGM has serious implication for the sexual and reproductive health of a girl or woman undertaking the ritual. Immediate complications include severe pain, shock, hemorrhage, tetanus or infection, urine retention, ulceration of the genital region and injury to adjacent tissue, wound infection, urinary infection, fever, and septicemia. Haemorrhage and infection can be severe enough to cause death.
Long-term consequences include complications during childbirth, anemia, the formation of cysts and abscesses, keloid scar formation, damage to the urethra resulting in urinary incontinence, dyspareunia (painful sexual intercourse), sexual dysfunction, hypersensitivity of the genital area and increased risk of HIV transmission, as well as psychological effects. (Facts and reference from World health organization)
Call to action
We urge our leaders to refrain from such reckless comments and instead help us in a strong and coordinated approach to eradicate the FGM practices in Kenya. Our leaders should, therefore, coordinate a Supportive education and targeted training to enable all stakeholders to sensitively and respectfully address this complex and long-standing practice.