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Beading young girls for sex illegal, NGO says

01 June 2016, 15:20 Joseph Njung’eh

Laikipia - A Laikipia based Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has termed beading of young girls for sex purposes as illegal and violation of human rights.

The Samburu Women Trust (SWT) Executive Director, Jane Meriwa said a recent research conducted by her organization established that majority of indigenous Samburu living in Laikipia, Isiolo and Samburu Counties are not aware that beading for sexual wooing, is an act of human rights violation and that it is against the laws of Kenya.

Beading is a cultural practice among the Samburu community where girls are ‘booked’ (engaged) to older men by use of beads which is a traditional attire.

Meriwa said girls and women in Kenya are protected from harmful cultural practices by the constitution, the country’s law and several international treaties to which Kenya is a state party.

“The Bill of rights which is contained in Chapter Four of Kenyan constitution, protects against the imposition of harmful practices in the name of culture for women and children,” she noted.

The research was funded by International Working Group on Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) under promotion and protection of fundamental human rights partnership.

“To bead a girl, a Moran identifies one and approaches her mother and brothers to inform them of his wish,” the report explained.

When the Moran’s request is accepted, he goes ahead and buys the beads and hands them to the mother of the girl, who in turn gives them to her daughter.

The mother of the girl then constructs a hut for her daughter, where the Moran will be making occasional night visits to the girl.

Meriwa noted that the practice of beading was little discussed and relatively unknown outside the Samburu community until 2011 when press reports documented pregnancies and forced abortions amongst the Samburu girls as young as 12 years old who had been beaded.

“Given the relative silence about this practice and its potentially devastating impacts on the Samburu girls, SWT decided that urgent research was needed to document the origin, impacts and perceptions about the practice on Samburu community,” she said.

She noted that the ultimate goal of the research was to work through the community structures and community sensitization to reduce the negative impacts of the practice on girls

- MyNews24

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