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Women want government to crackdown pro-FGM groups

Women drawn from various counties within central region now want the government to intensify the crackdown on traditional groupings abetting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the region.

The women told a press briefing at Kenol Market that the reemergence of some groupings advocating for the retrogressive practice had instilled fear among residents amid claims they are operating under the cover of religious organizations to target young mothers.

Their plea came barely a week after a young mother from Kagunduini village in Kandara Sub County was said to have been coerced to undergo FGM.

The lady who is recuperating at a local hospital is said to have been forced to undergo the cut by members of a group dubbed ‘Gwata Ndai,’ where her husband is a member.

The woman claimed her husband of 30 years led a gang of more than 10 men who conducted the ritual that came into limelight a week ago after women leaders went to her rescue and took her to Murang’a County Referral Hospital.

The women led by Mercy Kimwe, a former Murang’a Municipality Mayor said cooperation between security officers and residents could assist tame the retrogressive behaviours that have undermined the integrity of young mothers.

Kimwe observed that some women and young girls were forced to face the cut but failed to report the matter for fear of reprisals from the group.

She appealed to the women and girls to reach out to members of the Gema Council, women wing and report those threatening them.

“We shall have to confront the issues to ensure the dignity of women will not be undermined by rogue groups,” stated Kimwe.

The women asked the judiciary and the interior ministry to help in apprehending those behind the practice saying such behaviours poses a health risk to initiates.

A local community leader, Alice Mwangi said they will work hand in hand with members of Nyumba Kumi in villages to deal with the vice for the interest of all females.

“The women are now vulnerable thus,  they should be protected at all cost by the government and the chiefs should lead the way. I appeal to members of the public to report such cases,” Said Mwangi.

She said, “we want proper investigations done on the Kandara case and those behind the incident be arrested. As women we will not allow such retrogressive behaviour to crop back in our community.”

Two weeks ago, when gender Chief Administrative Secretary Ms Jebii Kilimo visited Gatanga Sub County during celebrations to mark International Widows Day, she raised concerns over emerging cases of FGM among the kikuyu community.

Kilimo noted that some traditional organizations were bringing back the practice and called upon the security agencies to arrest and prosecute those behind the incidents.

By Bernard Munyao

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