The Anti FGM Board held a month-long vigorous campaign for the elimination of FGM in Kuria East and West regions ahead of the cutting season that usually begins every November.
The first of the campaigns was spearheaded by Chairperson Mrs. Pareyio and the Chief Executive Officer Mrs. Loloju in collaboration with ADRA Kenya, a Christian non-governmental organization working towards ending FGM in the region.
The Board first held a sensitization forum with duty bearers that included chiefs, elders, religious leaders, the police, prosecutors, women, and youth leaders to create awareness on the Anti-FGM law, the consequences of FGM as well as come up with a common strategy to prevent mass cuttings in the region. The meeting also sought to identify bottlenecks that have hindered the successful prosecution of FGM cases.
In a meeting in Kehancha town, Kuria West, the Chairperson pleaded with the stakeholders to do all that is in their power to prevent mass cutting in the region for the sake of girls who have been crying for help.
“What is done in darkness shall be laid bare in daylight. The results of your work will one day be visible. Let us all be answerable to the responsibilities of our work. The law is very explicit on the offenses. All accomplices to FGM are guilty and the penalties are clear if found guilty,” pleaded Mrs. Pareyio.
The Chairperson further pledged the support of the Board in supporting them to create as much awareness as possible. She called on the to undertake as much education on the adverse effects as possible adding that the ways of life have since changed from the cultural practices of yesteryears.
“The houses you live in now are not the same as the houses your forefathers lived in. So many practices have been overtaken by events. How come you are still holding onto this harmful and barbaric practice up to date yet it is not even supported by any religion?’” posed the Chairperson.
In a meeting in Ntimaru, Kuria East, the CEO declared that the Presidential Directive had given new impetus to the campaign to end the practice adding that with the support from the highest office in the country, there was no choice other than to end FGM.
She further urged the community to invest in educating both girls and boys equally without discrimination for the prosperity of the community. She implored the stakeholders to take the welfare of the girl child seriously saying the effects of FGM on girls are irreparable and have huge psychological and emotional implications when they are growing up.
Mrs. Loloju said men must take full responsibility and protect their daughters and sisters from the dreaded cut. She asserted that men have the voice to end the vice if they declare that their daughters must not be cut.
In the Kegonga market, the Board also met anti-FGM peer educators comprising of young girls in either primary or secondary schools as well as those in college and universities. The peer educators were trained on behavioral change communication to effectively disseminate the anti-FGM message among their peers in schools and society.
The Chairperson asked the young girls to prioritize pursuing their education and implored them to stand firm against the cut and recruit as many girls as possible to shun the vice.
The CEO shared her personal experience as an FGM survivor and called on them to report any cases of FGM to the authorities or their teachers for action. She further reminded them that they would likely face opposition from sections of society but asked them to soldier on as change never comes easy.
“You are the leaders of tomorrow. But how are you going to be a leader tomorrow if you do not pursue education? FGM is a precursor to early marriages and teen pregnancies and they will curtail your progression in life. You must be different and be the change agents of the society for a bright future,” said the CEO.