2:08 am - Wednesday October 18, 2017

Kenyan Girls Hide In Schools To Avoid Female Circumcision

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Girl Child Circumcision;007

Girl Child Circumcision; When it comes to publicizing information aimed at enlightening and educating people about the needs of the girl child or even health safety generally, it can never be too much no matter how many times you have to say it.

I wrote a post not long ago about female genital mutilation (FGM) also known as female circumcision or Girl Child Circumcision and it was almost seeming even to me like i was talking about obsolete things that are rarely practiced in the 21st century.

In spite of the illegality of the practice of Girl Child Circumcision and the stiff penalties for offenders, it is still been widely practiced in many parts of Kenya and it is therefore heartbreaking seeing this news about young girls who should want nothing more than to be back home and united with their families after a prolonged school term stay back in school.

This is not because school is a better environment to spend the holiday but home which should be considered safe is no longer safe for these girls because of mundane and unhealthy cultural practices such as Girl Child Circumcision.

BBC news yesterday reported hundreds of Kenyan young school girls who will not be able to go home for the holidays because they fear their parents will compel Girl Child Circumcision on them.
Schools that should have closed a month ago are still open in understanding of the plight innocent girls. While some have chosen to stay back in school, others have taken to staying in churches in the north western part of Pokot County.

Head teachers were told to accommodate the girls to ensure they attend classes all through the year to prevent their parents from marrying them off at a teenage age or forced to undergo Girl Child Circumcision secretly.
Research confirms that 1 out of 5 women in Kenya between the ages of 15-49 is circumcised and there is this rapidly growing trend towards much younger girls been forced into undergoing the procedure.

Also, most of the women in their 20s confirm that they were circumcised when they were between the ages of 5 and 9 years. According to one of the students, girls are most at risk in December or during the festive period because these are traditionally times for initiation rites for both boys and girls.

It all boils down to partly poverty and perhaps a lack of proper education because if you listen to some of the reasons for these practices, they simply do not have any positive impact or health implications for the lives of the victims except that parents or who ever is involved stand to gain one thing or the other and that overrides the safety of innocent young girls.

In Kenya, the most common reason for Girl Child Circumcision is to increase the dowry of the girls and get them married off at a very tender age. Girls who are circumcised tend to fetch more in dowry price compare to those who are not. Besides, it is a tradition that a mother gets a cow from her son in-law if her daughter is circumcised before marriage.

While the above maybe the concerns of these parents, research confirm that 90% of circumcised girls have complications all through their lifetime. This is even aside the fact that they are not able to enjoy sex. Research confirms that one of the reason for a which a man would want a girl circumcised is so he can have her to himself considering the believe that circumcised girls are not promiscuous.

But while mutilating a girl fulfills that dream for a man, sex becomes torture all through the life of a victim, making it something to dread instead of desire. Also circumcised girls most often than not dread sex as it gives no pleasure but perpetual pain for them..

Report also confirm 3 out of 5 cases result in subsequent multiple surgeries due to either complications from the circumcision or difficulty in child birth. They are prone to infections especially sexually transmitted, there is the case of damage to the urethra resulting in urinary incontinence. There is also the problem of constant hypersensitivity of the genital area among many other risks.

The good part however is that not all parents or even other members of the communities are in support of the cruel practice. Some schools are reported to have organized campaigns against the practice urging parents and all relevant stakeholders to deceit from the act. The girls who have run away from home are been supported by many members of the local community who have embraced the anti-FGM campaign.

The young girls had a campaign and were advised on their rights and how to protect themselves should parents threaten them. They have community activists who can take up cases of forceful mutilation against offenders.

Ironically, while parents subjects their children to this inhuman treatment just so they can make a little money, the girls end up living helpless lives in abject poverty with no one to support them and no education, skill or trade to support themselves considering how early and empty they are usually married off. Worse still, they become parents to children they cannot fend for considering they cannot fend for themselves either.

While it may not be a simple task to put a permanent end to this heinous act, it is sure possible and we all have a role to play to end this barbarism. If it is just publicizing information about the dangers of the practice to enable it spread, it is a starting point and no effort is too small in the fight against female circumcision.

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