Nairobi News


Kick girls’ circumcisers out of this county

January 22nd, 2014 2 min read

Whether you call it tradition or a rite of passage, or both, female genital mutilation is repugnant — and the fact that it is being secretly carried out in Nairobi estates must not be tolerated.

It is shocking that parents are colluding with rogue doctors to circumcise their girls.

Disgraceful act

And it is disgraceful that some clinics are allowing it to be conducted on their premises.

This horrific practice is rampant in Eastleigh, South B and South C.

The fact that it is parents who are forcing their daughters, some as young as seven, to be mutilated has made it very hard for authorities to detect.

Such parents are using the warped logic that getting trained doctors to conduct the operation instead of traditional circumcisers somehow makes it legal.

It does not. And the law is very clear that FGM, whether conducted by a doctor or a quack is criminal. It is only a criminal who would groom a ten-year-old girl for marriage by having her circumcised.

Anyone who performs it commits an offence — and should they cause a girl’s death in the process they could face a lifetime in jail.

The law also prohibits the use of any premises, including clinics, to administer the cut. In fact, even failing to report someone commissioning FGM is a crime.

Yet the prosecution of the perpetrators is not enough to deter it. A lot more needs to be done to inform communities which still practice FGM of its outdated nature and its barbarity.

They must be told in no uncertain terms that it is criminal to subject their girls to the cut, culture or no culture.

It is therefore refreshing to learn that the county government plans to conduct campaigns against the cut, targeting those areas and communities where the vice is still rampant.

It is, however, saddening that senior officials do not have an idea the act is being conducted.

Well a campaign against the act is a step in the right direction but should not be the only step.

Words are good. But there must be action too. Only by the vigorous prosecution of everyone associated with the cut — parents, circumcisers and the clinic owners — can this practice finally be stamped out.