Engaging Male Allies to Tackle Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya

Photo Credit: Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) Channel One’s News Check
Over the years, women and girls in some communities in Kenya, and in  parts of Asia and the Middle East, have been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM). According to the WHO, more than 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM in 30 countries, Kenya included. The Covid pandemic created a fertile ground for the practice to thrive and along with it, teenage pregnancies and early marriages which are attendant consequences of the practice.
In building momentum towards marking the international day on zero tolerance for FGM, JHR through its Kenyan project, Voice for Women and Girls, is engaged in various advocacy efforts to eliminate the practice. JHR’s Gender Media Trainer, Judy Kaberia, was invited to speak on the issue at Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC)  channel One’s News Check, a state-run media house that broadcasts in English and Swahili and has a nationwide reach of viewers.
During the segment, Judie Kaberia stressed the importance of  understanding cultural values of practicing communities in order to devise effective strategies to end the practice as well as offer alternative rites of passage that can be accepted by the communities. She also underscored the importance of engaging men in advocacy efforts to end FGM. Speaking on the same show, Tony Mwebia of Men End FGM Kenya, emphasised this, adding that men force women to undergo FGM because they do not understand the process nor the consequences. He believed that if they understood the process “the majority will be against it”.
Ms Kaberia also emphasised the need for the media to tell stories about FGM in ways that would motivate proponents to abandon the practice as well as using simplified media such as pictorials, cartoons and illustrations that would stimulate easy understanding of the vice by men.

To watch the whole interview go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiFaNR9_LlY&feature=youtu.be

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