Call to arrest circumciser of six-month-old baby
What you need to know:
- Child right defenders have called for the arrest of the woman accused of subjecting a six-month-old baby to FGM.
- Josephine Ndirias the Director of Mukogodo Girls Empowerment Program wants the court to dispense justice fast for the Leparua community to learn the consequences of SGBV.
Child right defenders have called for the arrest of the woman accused of subjecting a six-month-old baby to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) even as it emerged that the vice is widespread in parts of Isiolo County.
The activists who spoke during the launch of 16-days of Activism against Gender-based violence on girls and women said though the baby’s parents are facing a court case, the one who committed the heinous act is roaming freely.
“We are appealing to security agencies to track down the woman who is still at large so that she can also face the law and teach others still carrying out such criminal activities a lesson. The pastoralist community here do not regard violence against women and girls as a big issue,” said Josephine Ndirias, Director of Mukogodo Girls Empowerment Program.
Ms Ndirias spoke at Leparua, a village in Isiolo County where the shocking incident of an infant’s circumcision occurred recently, leading to her admission to hospital for days.
In her submissions to court, a clinical officer at the Isiolo Referral Hospital Linda Kiruki, who handled the case said the child had a deep wound and her genitals were covered with tea leaves to ostensibly reduce bleeding.
Appearing before Isiolo Chief Magistrate Lucy Mutai, Ms Kiruki said the child’s clitoris had been cut and the labia majora had a deep wound that showed the illegal procedure was carried out with a blunt object.
Ms Ndirias is now asking the court to dispense justice fast for the Leparua community to learn the consequences of sexual and gender-based violence.
“These deep-rooted harmful cultural practices, which have been outlawed are still rampant here. Early this year, we rescued a 14-year-old girl from a forced marriage. Interestingly, the local chief and the grandmother quipped…is there anything wrong with marrying her off?”
She said with pupils now set for a long Christmas holiday and several community cultural festivities lined up in December, girls are in danger of falling prey to sexual predators, early marriage and FGM and for that reason her organisation will camp there for two weeks to monitor the happenings.
A reformed circumciser Margaret Kotol, said most of the women who have turned FGM into a preoccupation are widows lured by the desire to make quick earnings.
“The circumcisers charge Sh2,000 per girl. I have managed to convince four others to quit but there are some who claim it is the only way to earn a living. I appeal to the government and development partners to help them establish income generating activities to eradicate these illegal activities that continue to thrive years after being declared unlawful,” said Ms Kotol.
A 2020 Unicef report shows that at least four million girls and women have undergone the cut in Kenya.
More than 200 million in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia have endured the procedure, according to the World Health Organisation.
In Kenya, it is most prevalent among the Somali, Pokot, Kuria, Samburu and Maasai communities, according to the Kenya Anti-FGM Board.