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Women MPs put NGOs on notice for propagating FGM

21 June 2014, 09:02 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - Women MPs from pastoralist communities have condemned non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working in affected female genital mutilation (FGM) areas for propagating the unlawful practice to get more funding from their donors abroad.

The more than eight legislators led by Narok County MP, Soipan Tuya said warned responsible NGOs to shun from propagating girls’ lives endangering practice for selfish gains and called on the government to fully enforce the enacted 2010 Anti-FGM law.

“The recent witnessed demo by women in Kajiado demanding for legalization of FGM is shocking basing on complications associated with the ‘cut’ such as infertility, infections, failure to pursue education and lowered women dignity,” said Tuya.

“We are aware of some NGOs propagating FGM in affected pastoralist regions to get financial support after realizing that they are running out of money. This practice is inhuman and barbaric in this 21st century for our girls to abandon school for marriage after undergoing the ‘cut’,” she added.

Tuya noted that they do not intend to undermine their community’s cultures but fight small cultures taking their communities backward especially by limiting girls from competing well in global markets and interfering with the society’s economic progress.

Baringo County MP, Grace Kiptui challenged women, men, elders, and leaders in FGM prone areas to consider consequences associated with the practice and join the Anti-FGM campaign to protect the girl child.

“It is important for the government to increase funding for Anti-FGM civic education in affected communities with the involvement of our boys who are the consumers of our girls,” said Kiptui.

Kiptui revealed that FGM survey shows that many girls have dropped out of school due to early pregnancies and forced into early marriages after undergoing the act that signifies ‘maturity’ regardless of age.

The MPs put NGOs commercializing FGM on notice and vowed that they will not relent in their efforts to eradicate the “degrading and inhuman” practice.

“We know fighting against an unwanted culture in the society is difficult and time consuming but with the Anti-FGM law in place, we will soon overcome the practice,” said the Garissa County MP, Shukran Hussein.

The legislators assured that they will take the enacted 2010 Anti-FGM back to Parliament for further enactment to increase both fine charges from the current KES 500 000 and the jail term period from seven years.

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