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GBV & FGM persists in Migori

Gender Based Violence (GBV), Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early marriage are some of the major problems affecting the girl child, Migori County Director for Gender Mr. Kennedy Oomo has said.

Oomo said that the affected girls have been forced to drop out of school because of forced marriages brought by early and teenage pregnancies.

Speaking when he chaired a gender committee that brought together stakeholders from the education, health and gender sector, the County director however said that the county has made tremendous efforts to curb GBV as well as FGM by almost 50 percent.

On issues of FGM, the director noted that there was an intelligence report on individuals that were planning to execute the same but assured that already, the relevant authority is alert on the same. He however, acknowledged that cross border FGM remained the biggest hindrance to the eradication of the vice.

Oomo pinpointed that other forms of GBV were cropping up, especially from cervical cancer patients as some have been chased away from their matrimonial homes while others have been abandoned by close family members in the belief that they have been bewitched.

He said that ignorance, poverty and belief in witchcraft were some of the challenges that have been contributing to GBV in cervical cancer patients.

Migori Women Enterprise Officer Ms. Judity Mwangi explained that they have been collaborating with other actors in the county to ensure that women are economically empowered saying this was the only voice in fighting GBV.

Mwangi said that the major factor contributing to GBV was poverty and lack of income which resulted in women’s dependency on men.

“If a woman is empowered economically she is able to feed and take care of her children and the entire family,” noted Mwangi.

She emphasised that the women’s enterprise funds have been at the forefront of training and sensitising women on entrepreneurship and income generation activities.

The official added that they have been offering counselling services in partnership with health officials to the affected families and victims of GBV.

Last year, Migori County launched the Sexual Harassment and Gender Based Violence County Policy that was meant to curb women violence, early marriages, female genital mutilation (FGM) and teenage pregnancies.

By Geoffrey Makokha

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