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Kicking Out the Shadows: Eradicating Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya


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In a society that continually strives for progress and gender equality, it is disheartening to witness the persistence of archaic practices that violate the rights and well-being of women. One such practice that plagues Kenya is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This deeply entrenched tradition has cast a dark shadow on the lives of countless women and girls, robbing them of their physical integrity and emotional well-being. In this article, we delve into the causes and negative effects of FGM, highlighting its outdated and barbaric nature. We also shed light on organizations like the Mojatu Foundation, who are leading the charge against this heinous act, and the commendable efforts of Declares Kenya in rural areas, culminating in the Kick Out FGM football tournament in West Pokot on June 11, 2023.

FGM, a practice rooted in deeply entrenched cultural norms, inflicts irreversible harm on its victims. For too long, girls have suffered in silence, enduring excruciating pain and lifelong consequences. The reasons behind the perpetuation of FGM are manifold, ranging from preserving cultural identity and ensuring marriageability to the misguided belief that it promotes cleanliness and curbs promiscuity. However, it is crucial to recognize that these justifications are grounded in archaic and flawed thinking that has no place in modern society.

FGM stands as a chilling reminder of the dark depths to which humanity can descend. As the world progresses, it is distressing to witness the persistence of this barbaric act, rooted in outdated traditions and beliefs. The physical and psychological consequences of FGM are profound and cannot be overstated. The victims endure immense pain during the procedure and are left scarred for life, both physically and emotionally. Complications can arise during childbirth, leading to higher maternal and infant mortality rates. Moreover, FGM perpetuates a cycle of discrimination, denying girls their right to education, health, and personal autonomy.

While the situation may seem bleak, there is a glimmer of hope shining through the darkness. Organizations such as the Mojatu Foundation are at the forefront of raising awareness about the negative effects of FGM, challenging age-old norms, and working to protect vulnerable girls. They tirelessly advocate for change, engaging communities through education, empowerment, and counseling. By shedding light on the true consequences of FGM, they are chipping away at the walls of ignorance and resistance that surround this issue.

Declares Kenya, in collaboration with the Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC) and the West Pokot government, has organized the Kick Out FGM football tournament in West Pokot on June 11, 2023. This event serves as a powerful symbol of unity and collective action against FGM. Through sports and community engagement, Declares Kenya aims to shift mindsets, dispel myths, and foster dialogue within the rural areas where FGM is prevalent. By promoting education and offering alternative opportunities, they are empowering young girls and helping communities envision a future free from this harmful practice.

The time has come for Kenya to break free from the chains of a deeply rooted tradition that inflicts pain and suffering upon its girls and women. We must amplify the voices of survivors, empathize with their plight, and stand together as a community to kick out FGM once and for all. The work of organizations like the Mojatu Foundation and the initiatives led by Declares Kenya in rural areas give us hope that change is possible. Let us unite, educate, and empower the next generation, creating a society where the physical and emotional well-being of women is safeguarded and cherished. Only then can Kenya truly progress towards a future devoid of the horrors of Female Genital Mutilation.

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