What you need to know:
- FGM kills sexual pleasure in women, leading to emotional distress and depression, Anti-FGM Board chairperson Agnes Pareiyo has said.
- Most men in the FGM-prevalent communities married circumcised women for status, only to later marry second and third uncircumcised wives for sexual pleasure.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) kills sexual pleasure in women, leading to emotional distress and depression, Anti-FGM Board chairperson Agnes Pareiyo has said.
Speaking at an open forum in Hola, Tana River County, Ms Pareiyo said most circumcised women were not enjoying the fruits of marriage but were in it for status.
“Under normal circumstances, the circumcised woman gets into the sexual mood when the man has finished, leaving the woman in a difficult position emotionally,” she said.
Ms Pareiyo noted that most men in the FGM-prevalent communities married circumcised women for status, only to later marry second and third uncircumcised wives for sexual pleasure.
As a result, the circumcised women were fighting to stay relevant in a society that pushed them to make regrettable decisions in their earlier lives and that of their children.
“Some of these women are suffering from a prolapsed uterus and fistula in old age, while some have since been abandoned by the husbands, " she said.
The chairperson reiterated that despite the heightened war against the cut, communities were devising ways to carry on with the tradition secretly, hence the need to empower women in the fight against the vice.
Anti-FGM Board director Bernadette Loloju challenged men in respective pastoralist communities to lead in the war against the cut to save girls from future regrets.
She noted that FGM contributes to poor mental growth, hence poor academic performance.
“The cut targets intelligent girls with a bright future; if only their fathers can stand in the gap and defend them, we shall defeat FGM by 2022,” she said.
Ms Loloju urged elders and religious leaders to make FGM a routine conversation in the mosques to enlighten the people about its effects.
She further urged parents to make the fight against FGM a priority like any other responsibility in their jurisdiction.
The forum organised by WomanKind Kenya, seeks to initiate a robust conversation against FGM with pastoralist communities practicing the tradition in Tana River County.