FGM dilemma in West Pokot as girls take up retrogressive practice

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A section of the female circumcisers in West Pokot have downed their tools
A section of the female circumcisers in West Pokot have downed their tools

It has now emerged that girls in West Pokot County are now performing female genital mutilation among themselves after a section of female circumcisers laid down their tools.

Some of the young girls from Lomut ward who sought anonymity said due to peer pressure from their age mates, both boys and girls, they opted to perform the retrogressive practice as a rite of passage as some expressed concerns that the women circumcisers gave up following firm laws under the female genital mutilation act.

They said some of the female circumcisers have been arrested and jailed after performing FGM which puts the others at danger fearing they might be nabbed while performing the practice.

Non governmental organizations in West Pokot County said they are aware of such incidents and have urged the anti-FGM board to shift the focus to new emerging trend.

Ms. Domtilla Chesang, working under the of ‘I rep’  foundation said the government needs to shift the focus to the girls and find out the reason why the girls have opted to subject themselves to the cut.

She said the law has also to be restructured citing that the anti-FGM law doesn’t stipulate anywhere if the girls are supposed to be arrested if they perform the cut on themselves. “The law has a loophole and the girls need to be penalized for such an act. The girls think they are underage and there is no law to charge them before court,” she said.

She said the government needs to shift the focus to the underlying peer pressure, bring the girls on board and empower them with information on the negative effects of FGM. “The boys should also be told to stop putting the girls under pressure to undergo the cut,” she said “The uncut girls feel like they cant fit in the society.”