Girls in Kenya are hiding in the schools and churches at Christmas leaving their families, because their parents forcing them to have a (FGM) female genital mutilation, a process in which these girls at a very young age are circumcised and married as well, FGM is done relating culture, religion, and financial issues of these families leads to such acts destroying the childhood of these girls, in such marriages these families of the suffering girls gets cows as dowry.
Schools will remain open in the new year and christmas holidays for the protection of these threatened girls not to be married or done FGM, as theses days are supposed to set marriages in the region, except this the government has already set rule for schools to make sure the presence of theses girls at school to prevent these kids from FGM and early marriages.
Local 14 years old girl told many families used to treat their girls due to poverty and some do it due to cultural values and some other families relate the circumcised to the religion and married at young age.
“My parents force us to undergo FGM because they want dowry. When these girls are circumcised, their parents have already arranged for them to be married soon after it ”.
“When they finish the initiation, their parents introduce them to their husband, whose family gives them cows as dowry,” she further told to British media.
Since 2011 the practice of FGM was considered illegal by the government, meanwhile till yet it is done, by the passage of time this practice became underground, previously it was done openly in many parts of the country in many churches.
Girls are most at risk during the December holidays, traditionally these December holidays are most risky time period of the year because these days are supposed to be a time for initiation.
One out of five women in Kenya between the ages of 15 and 49 is circumcised, local government figures.
There is a worrying trend in younger girls for being forced to undergo the FGM procedures.
The Country’s bureau of statistics in recent reports told that most of these girls are circumcised in their teen ages, almost quarter of these girls faced the practice in the age from five to nine years.
Some other remaining young girls telling to media.
“Were it not that I love these seminars, I would also be at home. I will never undergo FGM,”.”You pity them. They have children and they themselves are children. When you ask them why, they answer you: ‘What do I do? There is no-one to pay school fees for me.’’ They also need help.”I have learned how to protect myself once I go back to the village. I know where to report when I am threatened. I will also sensitise others,”.”We have many friends who would have wanted to be in schools but their parents cannot afford. I believe, with help, most of them can study and excel,” she says.
Meanwhile the activist over there telling that banning the practice haven’t stopped it but it went underground to avoid any penalties as it is illegal, by these families involved in such practices. These activists further telling.
“The many girls who have run away from home because they have been forced to undergo circumcision, but we urge them when they are forced they should report to the local chief,” she said. “There are some churches here which encourage their followers to circumcise their girls but things are changing, so nowadays they do it secretly.”
Local commissioner Brian told it will take time to completely avoid such procedures from the country. He further told.
“This is a deeply entrenched issue that will take time to completely get rid of.”These days there are no elaborate ceremonies to celebrate girls who have undergone FGM. “It is very secretive and it makes it very difficult to apprehend those who are behind this.”
“Most of the girls now aren’t going to undergo FGM. Instead they come for training,” told by Gladys Andiema, the headmistress of St Catherine Girls School.