our culture… Is it worth it?

We have heard about them on radio, we have watched them on TV, and read their stories on print and online media. They could have been us, our mums, our sisters, our friends, or our daughters. I am talking about female genital mutilation and the practice of early marriage . some  are lucky enough to survive the ordeal, and live to tell story; some unfortunately have to live with the painful consequences for the rest of their lives like obstructed labor leading to fistula, eventually leading to being shunned by the community and feeling of shame Blood on the floor, worse on the bed, some sadly do not survive it due to excessive bleeding and complications during child birth.Girl 13, dies after undergoing FGM.

After the practice the girls are married off and in some cases the girls are bound in an age old practice called beading but still after being taken advantage of they still have to go through FGM

Beads of Bondage on NTV

I applause the NGOs and people who fight FGM  but we have failed these innocent young girls; we were not there to protect them when they needed us most, we were not there to tell them that being circumcised does not make you a full woman (some do under go FGM willingly for fear of being shunned, ridiculed, and end up not being married; in case they are married and are expectant the midwives do not help them during delivery as they are considered incomplete), as their parents we failed them when that old man brought dowry for our daughter and we accepted; when a Moran started beading our daughter and we agreed to it.

Lately we have been hearing talks of “ the girl child is becoming too empowered“, “the boy child has become endangered” question is where is this girl child who is getting empowered? are we empowering girls in Nairobi, not that we should do otherwise, and the girl in Pokot, Samburu, Narok still has to conform to dangerous cultural practices that put her life in the line and the life of her future children?

It is sad that the people the girl child expects to protect her are the very same people exposing her to danger.

For me real empowerment will come when the girl in Samburu is no longer a sex slave due to beading, when the girl in communities where FGM is being practiced no longer undergoes it whether willingly or forced, when the girl in these areas knows her real worth and knows that undergoing FGM will not make her a complete woman. All these girls are asking for is someone to protect them; for them that is more than empowering them.

FGM has been criminalised in Kenya for a number of years but that is not enough Criminalizing FGM is not enough we all need to do something to save a life and ensure that the practice is eradicated.

…..Thank you for stopping by…


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