First Ladies from seven counties where Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) practice is at large have vowed to eradicate the vice completely from their backyards.
The First Ladies, hosted by Migori County First Lady Dr Agnes Ochilo, held a one-week Convergence for anti-FGM campaign dabbed “Kambi la Wasichana” at Nyabohanse girls high school in Kuria west migori county.
The spouses from Taita Taveta, Marsabit, Kajiado, Narok, Nyamira, Migori and West Pokot counties vowed to be at the forefront in the fight against the vice.
Speaking during the closure of the event the Governor’s spouses said that FGM vice has undermined the rights of girls, messed up their health status and disrupted the socio-economic agenda of young women.
Marsabit First Lady and Chair of the Governor’s First Lady Association Ms Alamitu Jattani, said that there are developed anti-FGM policies to fight FGM in the counties where it is rampant.
“I am happy that County Governments in coordination with the support groups are already winning the war on FGM through the developed FGM policies and laws,” said Alamitu.
Jattani noted that they will continue to share ideas and do benchmarking on communities that have successfully been able to eradicate the vice.
She said that a collaboration between all Anti-FGM parties especially the elders and political leaders and women empowerment groups was the key to eliminating FGM.
Jattani however, emphasised that the biggest hindrance in stopping FGM was the culture and religion that the perpetrators use to justify their heinous acts.
“We do not have a reason why we cannot end FGM with all the established laws, policies, and the establishment of the FGM Board that has played the biggest role in ensuring the vice is eradicated”, said Jattani.
Migori Governor’s spouse Agnes Ochilo pointed out that women across Kenya were being empowered economically and those that were still hanging on the retrogressive culture had no place in the modern society.
She disclosed that all parties in Kuria had signed an agreement to end FGM so as to focus on transformative socio-economic agenda and the promotion of positive Kuria traditions and cultures.
“We have already spent a substantial amount of resources in terms of time and finance in the fight against FGM. We are now united to utilize them well for a good course to help and empower the Kuria girls and community at large”, affirmed Agnes.
She encouraged the 200 Kuria girls educated as Anti-FGM ambassadors to be the voice of their peers and community in advocating for their rights in ending FGM vice.
The beneficiaries were also advised to champion education for the Kuria Community, a virtue that remains the only empowerment tool for all.
Meanwhile, The National Syndemic Diseases Control Council (NACC) Official Cyprin Wasike acknowledged that FGM has been one of the predicaments that has propelled health complications among pregnant women.
Wasike said that FGM has also contributed to HIV prevalence among adolescents with Migori County among the top counties with a high HIV prevalence rate between the ages of 15-24 years.
He explained that when a girl undergoes FGM she is expected to be married exposing her to risks of HIV and Gender-based violence.
Wasike urged the elders and political leaders in FGM-practicing communities to be the voice of the voiceless in championing the Anti-FGM.
The event was also attended by councils of elders from Marsabit and Nyamira counties who advised Luo and Kuria elders to shun the vice and embrace education for the girls.
The Governor’s spouses from the seven counties will be heading to Narok after visiting Marsabit and Migori Counties.