According to Plan International, at least 200 million girls and women alive today on this planet have undergone a form of female genital mutilation. Plan international predicts that’s If the current trends continue, 15 million additional girls between ages 15 and 19 will be subjected to FGM by 2030.
In Kenya, 21% of women admit that they are circumcised. The prevalence of female circumcision varies widely by background characteristics. 11% of women aged between 15-19 years are circumcised.
More than 40 % of women between the age of 45-49 years are circumcised. Rural women (26%) are more likely to have been circumcised compared to their urban counterparts (14%). – (KDHS 2014)
Female Genital Mutilation is nearly universal in North Eastern region (98%) compared to Nyanza (32%), Rift Valley (27%), and Eastern regions (26%). The Western region recorded the lowest prevalence at 1%.
The practice decreases as education increases. Female circumcision is declining slowly over time. The 1998 KDHS reported 38 percent of women were circumcised. This declined to 32 percent in 2003, 27 percent in 2008-09, and 21 percent in 2014. – (KDHS 2014)
FGM has no health benefits for girls and women and because it is usually performed without permission and often against the will of the girls. FGM violates girls’ right to make important decisions about their sexual health and body.
For Kenya to end FGM, the national government together with county governments must work with parents, community leaders, children and young people to raise awareness and transform their behaviors.
When it comes to national laws and policies relating to FGM, the government must implement them to the latter.
Girls should be allowed to exercise their right to make decisions about their own sexual health and well-being. Female genital mutilation is a violation of girls and women’s human rights. We must end FGM.