Ugandan girls escaping to Kenya for circumcision
What you need to know:
- Majority of the girls cross over to parts of West Pokot County where female circumcision is still rampant among members of the Pokot community.
- Administrators from both countries have launched a joint crack-down to stamp out female circumcision.
- The Pokots are found in both Kenya and Uganda and a number of them practice female circumcision.
Hundreds of girls are escaping from Uganda’s Bukwo District to undergo circumcision in Kenya despite government effort to get rid of the culture.
Majority of the girls cross over to parts of West Pokot County where female circumcision is still rampant among members of the Pokot community.
Following this new trend, administrators from both countries have launched a joint crack-down to stamp out female circumcision.
“Parents promoting female circumcision will be arrested and prosecuted,” warned West Pokot County Commissioner Peter Okwanyo.
The resolution was arrived at following talks between administrators and leaders from Bukwo County in Uganda and their counterparts from West Pokot County.
The Pokots are found in both Kenya and Uganda and a number of them practice female circumcision.
“These people have changed circumcision times and locations to avoid arrest,” disclosed Mr Okwanyo.
He said some married women are being forced to undergo the practice against their wishes to avoid being divorced by their husbands.
At the same time inadequate learning materials and retrogressive cultural practices are some of the factors contributing to increased school dropout rates among boys in Turkana, West Pokot, Baringo and Elgeyo-Marakwet Counties.
As a result, there are more female teachers than males at the pre-primary education level, according to a National Coordinating Agency for Population and Development (NCAPD) report.
Most of the boys from the pastoralist communities in the region drop out of school after undergoing circumcision to provide security against cattle rustling.
According to the report, there are also more females enrolled in adult education than males with 172,156 female adults compared to 80,379 males pursuing adult education by 2013.
‘The male-female trained teachers’ ratio at secondary school level gets worse than at the primary level.
While the total trained male secondary teachers stands at 33,126 as at 2010, the trained female secondary teachers were 19, 809,” stated the report.
The report calls for equal access to quality education to tackle high poverty levels in line with the country’s Millennium Development Goals.