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Youth anti-FGM network Kenya launched in Kisii

Anti-Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Board in partnership with the youth in Kisii County has launched the Youth Anti- FGM Network Kenya (YANK) Kisii chapter that will develop a critical mass of the young people who will be in the frontline in amplifying their voices to end the vice in the region.

Speaking to the press at a hotel in Kisii town, the Anti-FGM Board Program Manager Nyerere Kutwa stated that FGM is rampant in Kisii County and involving the young people was key in ending the practice.

He noted that according to the 2014 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) report, the prevalence of FGM in Kisii County was at 84 per cent against the national prevalence of 21 per cent and there was a need to act fast in eradicating it.

 “We are here with other stakeholders; the county government, community-based organizations, Maendeleo ya Wanawake and the County Anti- FGM Steering Committee to establish another segment of the community that will be up in arms in realizing our agenda and vision as a country of having a society that is free from FGM,” added Kutwa.

He pointed out medicalization as a major challenge whereby health professionals are leading in the practice of FGM, adding that cross-border FGM was also spiking as people take their girls secretly to neighbouring countries for the ritual, making it hard for them to apprehend the perpetrators.

Anti FGM Network Programme Vocal Person Velin Momanyi called upon the National Government, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to come together and engage the youth to oppose those performing the practice to the young girls and women by educating them on the dangers of FGM and put an end to it.

Kitutu Central Deputy County Commissioner Elizabeth Atemi said that Kisii County is one of the 22 leading counties that practice FGM, adding that as leaders, they have met youth leaders from various institutions who were going to help in rallying the message to their fellow youth effectively to end the practice.

Anti-FGM campaigner Walter Mounde stated that they would utilize spaces oriented to young people including social media and visibility materials to amplify their voice of saying no to FGM with a view to eradicating the vice.

By Aunda Lavina

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