Tharaka Nithi County devising law to help end FGM

Girls from Tharaka Nithi County perform a skit saying no to FGM at a past event. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Tharaka Nithi County is coming up with a policy that will give it legal power to fight FGM.
  • County Gender Executive Ms Sheila Kiganka said the target is to help slay the FGM dragon by 2022 in line with the President Uhuru Kenyatta’s declaration.
  • Policy, soon to be taken to the county assembly to be made law, will give the devolved government latitude to finance initiatives to fight the illegal ‘cut’.

Tharaka Nithi County is coming up with a policy that will give it legal power to fight Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).The county is among the 22 FGM hot spots in the country.

Speaking to the media in Chuka earlier in the week, the County Gender Executive Ms Sheila Kiganka who is spearheading the exercise, said the target is to help slay the FGM dragon by 2022 in line with the President Uhuru Kenyatta’s declaration.

She said the policy, soon to be taken to the county assembly to be made law, will give the devolved government latitude to finance initiatives to fight the illegal ‘cut’ that is rampant in Igambang’ombe, Tharaka South and Tharaka North sub-counties.

“We have already formulated the policy with the help of other stakeholders like Plan International Kenya and Ripples International,” said Ms Kiganka.

She said without a law, it’s difficult for the devolved government to fight FGM because it lacks the legal framework and mandate.

Outdated culture

She added that the policy brings together various collaborators in the fight against the outdated culture including non-governmental organisations, community-based organisations, Njuri Ncheke Council of Elders and the government to form synergies.

With the law, the county government with the support of the police and the national government will be able to prosecute FGM perpetrators.

Tharaka Nithi Women Representative Ms Beatrice Nkatha said it’s unfortunate some people continue to practice the outdated culture despite efforts by government and non-government organisations to end it.

She noted that the practice is common during holidays, especially in December and urged government officers to remain vigilant in order to arrest and prosecute any perpetrator.

“It’s embarrassing that there are people still clinging onto the outdated FGM practice that has a lot of disadvantages to our girls,” said Ms Nkatha.

According to Tharaka Nithi County Commissioner Ms Beverly Opwora, cases of FGM and other forms of GBV are on the rise in the region during the Covid-19 pandemic period.

Speaking to journalists separately at her office in Chuka town, Ms Opwora said the culprits are not sparing even girls as young as 10 years.

Anjeru@ke.nationmedia.com

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