Women living in Bureti sub-county in Kericho have been urged to campaign against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by reporting potential cases of the outlawed practice to protect girls at risk.
Addressing residents during this year’s celebrations to commemorate International Day of zero tolerance for FGM at Kaldit primary school on Saturday, acting assistant county commissioner (ACC) Bureti division, Leo Amino said women in the area were in a position to choose to end the cycle of violence by using all mechanisms available to them to report cases of FGM to secure girls at risk.
“We look forward to hearing good news from the women folk in this area. It is important that they say ‘No’ to the cut by speaking up and reporting potential cases of FGM and in doing so protect girls who are at risk. The women in this area are in a position to say ‘No’ to the cut by speaking up. We need to have our girls and women living in dignity and realize their full potential.” said ACC Amimo.
In the same breath Cheborge division area chief Rogony Chebwogen who was present said the area had witnessed incidents of FGM and challenged the community to campaign to end the outlawed practice that robbed girl child the right to a better future through education.
“We want to keep sensitizing the women of this area which has over the years witnessed incidents of FGM. We too are engaging stakeholders to develop a road map in seeing this outlawed practice end in this area. Underage marriages should be a thing of the past our women and girls ought to go through their education without dropping out of school because of FGM,” said Chief Chebwogen.
A victim of FGM and a mother of two Jackline Chepngeno, 35, said she dropped out of school while in Form 2 to undergo the outlawed cut for her to get married but was lucky to have continued with her education and pursued her dream career.
“I sat for my KCPE in 1998 where I scored 408 marks and enrolled for secondary education at Cheborgei high school where I met my high school sweetheart now my husband while I was in Form 1.
I was forced to undergo FGM by my in-laws who stated that this was a requirement for me to get married to their son. I got my first child when I was 16 years and my second child when I was 17 years. My life was not good and I realized that having undergone the outlawed cut it did not guarantee one food or school fees for my children so after 15 years I sobered up and went back to school and finished my Form 4 where I scored a C grade and went on to pursue a diploma in Education. Currently I am a P1 teacher at Kaldit Primary school and I hope to further my education, “said Chepngeno.
Five years ago the same FGM incident took place at Kaptele village and 11 women were found to have undergone the outlawed cut.
Last year in November 2020, 22 women aged between 20 to 35 years of age from the same village were found having undergone FGM and were arrested and arraigned before a Kericho court where they were fined Sh20,000 each.
By Sarah Njagi