Provide Alternative Jobs to Tame FGM Stakeholder Now Say

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Former girl circumcisers in Chepkitale, Mt. Elgon, have called upon anti-FGM campaigners to come up with alternative income-generating activities as they gradually drop the vice.

While addressing an anti-FGM women’s forum at Laboot led by the Red Cross in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Finland on Thursday, the circumcisers confessed to secretly dishing out the drug that entices girls into wanting to get circumcised.

“Not long ago, I personally gave three girls this magic drug, and to my satisfaction, they got the cut as per our tradition and custom,” revealed one of the circumcisers.

According to the women present in the forum, the circumcisers uphold their culture and vehemently defend it mainly due to lack of alternative revenue generators.

“It would be better if these women were given civic education and equipped with self-reliance development schemes; otherwise, we have a long way to go in this fight against FGM,” advised a woman from Tomoi.

However, the women also unanimously agreed that children and youth should be equipped with knowledge on their rights and responsibilities, besides being taught the negative impacts of FGM.

According to Sosi Chemosit Council of Elders representatives, FGM has played a big role in promoting polygamy and extramarital affairs, eventually resulting in intimate partner violence.

Kimilili Deputy OCPD, Evans Nyakundi, also present in the meeting, challenged the women to be ambassadors in their homes so as to start changing the mind set of Ogiek men, who are adamantly conservative.

“We request the Red Cross and other well-wishers to arrange for similar forums where our children in schools and colleges will also be sensitised on vital issues that, if avoided, would otherwise prevent lifetime health complications,” suggested one of the women from Kaptoboi.

Even as campaigns against Female Genital Mutilation and Gender- Based Violence intensify, the conservative nature and strong belief in culture among the Ogiek community still pose a grave danger to young girls who are innocent of the ‘cult’ they’re being inculcated to.

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