Health, fitness and Food
Male relatives roped in as fight against Female Genital Mutilation intensify
Men have for years been accused of fueling female genital mutilation among the Masai tribe who straddle the border regions of Kenya and Tanzania in Eastern Africa.
“I will have to be circumcised since failure would mean no marriage,” girls, as young as 10 would say as they opted to face the knife and have their clitoris cut. They persevere severe pain in the process besides risking future health risks.
By that act, girls automatically attain the adulthood status and can now engage in sex, get married and bear children.
This has been the trend among the Masai tribe over centuries but the practice has run counter to the requirements of modernity.
According to Soipan Tuya, Member of Parliament representing Women in Narok County, female genital mutilation remains the single most obstacle to the development of not only the Masai woman, but the entire community.
“Once circumcised, girls, as young as 10 get encouraged to do all that mature women do including engaging in sex, get married and bear children. As a result, most opt out primary school, get married and begin families at teenage years,” she says.
But now however, a project funded by the Dutch Post Code Lottery through Amref Health Africa in Kenya wants this changed. While this is not definitely the first project of its kind to tackle the issue, the Dutch-funded project however appears to have a different approach and the Masai leaders who have been in the forefront in the fight against the FGM think success is on the horizon.
I wish to file you a story on how the Dutch support could be the game changer in reversing the negative effects FGM has had to the Masaai tribe of Kenya and Tanzania in the past 6, 000 years of their existence.
I believe the article will be suitable to your audience. With best wishes and many thanks,
the writer is a journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya