Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mutilating girls is something our people have done for hundreds of years," Nashiru, the senior FGM 'surgeon' in the Maasai community of Ol Donyo Nyokie, told IRIN. "No one can convince us that it is wrong."

Like all six FGM practitioners who carry out hundreds of procedures every year in and around the community, Nashiru sincerely believes in the virtues of FGM.

The women believe that an unmutilated woman has sexual feelings for every man she comes across, and is likely to stray from her marriage. In fact, they see FGM as a tool to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS in their community.

"When you mutilate a girl, you know she will remain pure until she gets married, and that after marriage, she will be faithful," Nashiru explained. "But when you leave a girl unmutilated, she sleeps with any man and brings the disease into the community."

Asked about cleanliness during the procedure, the women said nowadays they used a different disposable razor blade for each girl, instead of the traditional use of one knife to mutilated several girls. In addition, they now used gloves, and had replaced the cowhide base sheet with a plastic one.

Toshi Mahmoud, was mutilated just a month ago, is 11 years old and still has the bright-eyed curiosity and boundless energy of a young girl. She does well in school, is popular with her friends, and seems to have a happy, carefree existence.

Born into the very traditional community of Ol Donyo Nyokie in central Kenya's Kajiado district, Toshi had no qualms about relating her own experience, but winced as she recalled the pain she endured when the practitioner sliced her clitoris off.

"She [the surgeon] slept in the same bed as me the night before. My mother woke me up at six o'clock in the morning and poured a bucket of ice-cold water over me, and then I was taken back into the hut and was mutilated," she said in Kiswahili.

At just 11 years of age, Toshi is below the traditional age of mutilated, but said that often, when the oldest girl came of age, her parents might have all her younger sisters mutilated to save the cost of having several ceremonies.

She said she dreaded the pain, but looked forward to 'becoming a woman' - she wanted to be mutilated because it would make her more acceptable in the eyes of her peers and her community.

"If you are not mutilated, no one wants to talk to you; the girls and boys in school laugh at you because you are still a child," she told IRIN. "No man will want to marry or have sex with you if you are not mutilated."

But Toshi said that despite her own willingness to be mutilated, she did not support the practice of FGM, and insisted that she would not permit her own children to be mutilated.

"We are taught in our school health club that FGM is a harmful practice, and I wish the Maasai would stop forcing girls to do it," she said.

Several mutilated teenage girls in Ol Donyo Nyokie told IRIN they would never put their own children through FGM, having been educated about the dangers of the practice. They were adamant that they would not bow to the community's pressure to have their daughters mutilated, as many of their parents had.

Toshi and her friends, who were all mutilated in the same month, described how their wounds were coated with a paste made from cow dung and milk fat to stop the bleeding and accelerate healing; all maintained they had healed perfectly, and said they had never heard of any deaths or health complications arising from the operation.
However, the head teacher of the Ol Donyo Nyokie Primary School, Rebbeca Pateli, told IRIN there had been several incidents of injury and even death from FGM.

"You hear of girls who die, but there is never an admission that it was FGM-related. The practice is so hidden that it is hard to know how many, but they do get sick, and some die," she said.

Pateli, an ardent anti-FGM campaigner, painfully narrated how she was forced to circumcise her own daughter when the community threatened to ostracise her and her family. "I had hardened, but my girl was under so much pressure from her peers and elderly women that she eventually begged me to take her for the procedure," Pateli recounted.

The young men in the community, known as 'moran', or warriors, strongly believe that FGM is a useful practice that keeps women chaste. "I am married to a woman who is mutilated, and will be mutilating my daughter when the time comes," Kapande ole Saitoti, an Ol Donyo Nyokie moran, told IRIN. "You cannot claim to be a Maasai man or woman if you are not mutilated."

In fact, the girls in the community reported that men were the biggest hindrance to the fight against FGM, because they continued to reject women who were unmutilated.

Change in Ol Donyo Nyokie is slow, but it is happening. More sanitary conditions during the procedure means fewer women suffer hygiene-related complications, and the use of a different blade for each girl has mutilated down the risk of passing on infections, such as HIV.

Samson Ntore, a community-based health worker with the African Medical Research Foundation, said most practitioners in Ol Donyo Nyokie had greatly reduced the severity of the mutilated, and merely made a symbolic incision rather than removing the entire clitoris. However, the women could not make this public knowledge, for fear of the repercussions if they were found to be shirking their duties.

The Ol Donyo Nyokie community is a society fighting to cling to their ways in the face of pressure to change from all sides. Most of them support education, and education tells them to abandon FGM. Today, the prevalence rate of FGM in this community is 100 percent. But the young girls of the community insist that their daughters will never have to undergo the painful procedure.

The Maasai and FGM

The Maasai are a nomadic community who move around several districts in central Kenya and northern Tanzania in search of pasture and water for their animals. Kenyan Maasai number about 377,000. They are a proud people who have steadfastly clung to their traditional values and customs, despite the fact that most other communities around them have been influenced in one way or another by modernisation and western culture.

Their lives revolve predominantly around their cattle, on which they depend for meat, milk and blood - the main components of their diet. As they have no need of the food grown by other communities, they have been less exposed to the influence of other cultures, and have therefore been able to maintain their traditions.

While admirable, the strength of Maasai culture makes it resistant to change, especially traditions as deeply ingrained as the practice of FGM. Like many other cultures, the Maasai have myths about their origins, and the origins of their customs and traditions.

Folklore explains the origin of female genital mutilation in the story of Naipei, a young girl who had intercourse with the enemy of her family, and whose punishment came in the form of mutilation, a decision her family took to prevent her from feeling the urges that had led her to commit the crime.

Since that day, in a bid to protect their honour and the honour of the Maasai society, all Maasai girls who reach adolescence have been mutilated. The aim of FGM is therefore to limit the sexual desire and promiscuity of girls.

The ceremony of FGM marks the coming of age of a girl; she sheds the last vestiges of childhood and joins the league of womankind. It is traditionally performed between the ages of 9 and 14 and is part of the traditional rites of passage for girls, in order for them to be considered adults in their community. A 2005 survey of the Maasai community in Ol Donyo Nyokie (population: 665), found that 100 percent of girls above the age of 15 had undergone FGM.

Following the ceremony there is a period of seclusion, during which girls are educated about their rights and duties as women - they learn how to prepare food, take care of a home and children, and how to look after their future husbands. Once this period is over, a girl is considered an honourable woman and is free to marry.

The importance of this practice among the Maasai is considerable. FGM is perceived as bringing honour to a girl and to her family; by making her eligible for marriage it raises the status of her family in the eyes of society. The Maasai have held to the custom in the face of widespread criticism by Kenyan society and the international community, and despite criminalisation of the practice by the Kenyan government in 2002.

FGM ceremony
Many educated Maasai men and women still favour the practice of FGM, not because they are uninformed about the risks involved, but for fear of the social repercussions, should they reject the custom. An unmutilated woman remains a girl in the eyes of the community, however much education she may have, or whatever status she may attain in the outside world. For a woman who refuses to be circumcised, the risk of isolation is great, the chances of finding a Maasai spouse are reduced to almost nil, and her status in society will always be that of a child.

The Maasai FGM ceremony

The FGM ceremony takes place once a year and brings together all girls who come of age during that year. It is a large community event, marked by joyful revelry and feasting. A traditional circumciser, usually an elderly woman with great experience, performs the actual procedure. All the girls are mutilated on the same day and, until recent times, with the same instrument, usually a sharp knife known as an "ormurunya". A paste made from cow dung and milk fat is applied to stop bleeding. The end of the period of seclusion is also marked by celebrations officially welcoming the girls into womanhood.

The Maasai practice type-1 FGM, also known as a clitoridectomy, which involves the removal of the clitoral hood and all or part of the clitoris. Physical effects of the clitoridectomy include:

- reduced sexual desire- bleeding, often severe enough to cause death- infection, particularly due to poor sanitary conditions- risk of HIV transmission due to sharing of knives- complications during childbirth, often leading to stillbirths

Can the Maasai change their behaviour?

Despite their firm hold on their culture, certain aspects of FGM have begun to change. In the era of HIV/AIDS, the Maasai are aware of the risks involved in using the same knife for several procedures and, more often than not, today each individual is mutilated using a different blade. Studies by the non-governmental organisation, Maendeleo Ya Wanawake (MYWO), show that only 14 percent of circumcisers still use the same knife for several girls.

This change may be slight, but observers and campaigners consider that it nevertheless displays an openness among the Maasai to the idea that aspects of their traditional culture can be altered for the better.

One of the main approaches used by agencies trying to address the widespread practice of FGM is the introduction of alternative rites that are still acceptable and relevant to communities and allow girls to have a coming of age ceremony, but exclude mutilating of the girl's genitalia. MYWO and the Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health spearheaded a series of alternative rites ceremonies across Kenya in 1996, and have continued to hold them annually since. In these alternative ceremonies, girls are still educated about their role as women in society, but receive more relevant instruction, such as lessons about reproductive health and the importance of formal education.

The alternative rites approach has had mixed results in Kenya, and among the Maasai has met with only limited success. Well-intentioned as the alternative rituals are, they do not provide the guarantee of low sexual desire that FGM does and, therefore, cannot satisfactorily replace the custom as far as the Maasai are concerned.


FGM is illegal in Kenya, but the law is rarely applied against practitioners or parents who make their children undergo it. The Maasai are a close-knit community who live largely by their own rules, and have resisted modernisation. It is this adherence to their own traditions that makes the eradication of FGM among the Maasai such an uphill task for those seeking to end the practice.

Nevertheless, the outside world is slowly influencing the Maasai way of life, with more girls and boys being enrolled in formal education institutions and learning about the risks associated with FGM. As this happens, it is hoped that the struggle to change harmful traditional practices, such as FGM, will become easier.

The eradication of FGM brings with it the consequence of forever altering the traditions of what is one of the few remaining authentic African societies. The tenacious hold the Maasai have on their culture is unusual, and many feel it should be protected at all costs. The challenge anti-FGM campaigners face is how to change this one harmful aspect of Maasai tradition without tainting the authenticity, or undermining the richness, of their culture.(A question I ask my self up to date)

Ambassador Lucy .s .Mashua President of Mashua's voice for the voiceless International
Assisting refugees in the US and representation in advocasy
The Global Ambassador for fighting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and standing up for Women’s Rights.
And the Chairperson of a worldwide campaign against FGM.

Monday, October 18, 2010

FGM demographic in Kenya you can see 4 of the tribes that practice FGM over 90% and my tribe is among the top.

At the end you will see my good friend and member of parliament Hon Lena Chebee Kilimo ...that we worked tireless with other Women members of Parliment, Hon Alicen Chelaite,Hon Beth Mugo ,Hon Cecily Mbarire, and Hon Njoki Ndungu....and the 4000 women from all over the republic Kenya representing all 42 communities and seven provinces that we convened at KENYATTA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE (KICC) to put an End to VAW against women and misuse of women funds by some large organisation and male politicians!!!!! O.M.G I will never forget the tear gas and police brutality as we marched peacefully and singing women freedom songs (Wamama misilale lalelale wamama msilala bado mapambano...bado mapambano bado mapambano x4) translation "Women do not sleep please don't sleep the figh is still on ...the fight is still on x4"...few days later we were in court ..14 strong women and guess who was the leader the youngest and the most vocal ? hahahaha lol....... ooh the long nights ,threats, and sleepless fearful nights:(.

Ambassador Lucy Mashua
The Global Ambassador for fighting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and standing up for Women’s Rights.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Women raped by Security forces 7 men at a time in Kenya 26 years ago during Moi regime. still no justice One victim was 8 months pregnant and she lost her baby:(

Women had no where to run to and hide ...this beasts gang raped each woman...mothers and daughters as they kill their sons and this video with English subtitles they pour their heart out and it is very sad and heartbreaking.
Kenyan government I know this happened during the past regime...but the security forces are still at work and still rapes women during tribal clashes to date:((. kindly do justice to this women and all the security persons involved to be brought to justice! here is the video grab some kleenex 26 years ago as remembered by the women who experienced it... their voices finally revealed.

By Lucy Mashua
The Global Ambassador for fighting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and standing up for Women’s Rights.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Maasai sister Neema of Daughters of Africa singing this heartfelt song at the Hague which reflects the pain and struggles of African daughters....

My Maasai sister Neema of Daughters of Africa singing this heartfelt song at the Hague which reflects the pain and struggles of African daughters....this choir was put together by Leoni Jansen from Netherland when she went to Nairobi Kenya the choir is composed of African daughters from East Africa,South Africa and East central Africa. enjoy this familiar but deep rooted true struggle expressed...Am proud of my little sis and all the the Daughters of Africa.

Death sentence to Judith Koriang a HIV mother after killing an abusive husband.

Kampala — As the court martial handed the death sentence to Judith Koriang on Wednesday afternoon, the mother stood still with teary eyes.

She bowed down as her eyes swept across the courtroom, from chairman Lt. Col. Eugene Sebugwawo to the other members of the 3rd Division army court. Koriang, a 20-year-old widow with a young son, heard her fate sealed by the court martial sitting in Moroto. She was advised by the court to appeal against the death sentence within 14 days.
Koriang shot dead her husband, Pte. Nelson Okello, on May 1, 2009, at Nakiloro army detachment in Moroto district, a few kilometres to the Uganda-Kenya border, following a domestic fracas.

The discordant couple was residing in a makeshift hut, popularly known as mama ingia pole. After Koriang tested HIV-positive and her husband negative, it triggered endless insults from the husband. Koriang told the court that Okello was the only man she had known in life; and his persistent demand that she goes to the man who infected her, sent her mad.

On the fateful day, the husband went back home but refused to eat supper and asked her to leave. She narrated that she played it cool until midnight when she woke up to execute her mission.
She picked her husband's gun stealthily and tiptoed out. She then sprayed bullets on the makeshift structure, knowing that by the time the gun went silent, her son and husband would be dead.

Miraculously, the son survived but the husband was hit by a few bullets out of the 30 she sprayed and died instantly. "After all the mistreatment, the only answer was to kill my son and husband and then turn the gun on myself. Unfortunately, the gun ran shot of bullets," Koriang told court.

She said after the shooting, she entered the hut and carried out the baby and started walking to Moroto Central Police Station, over 30km away, to hand herself in. However, she got tired on the way and decided to rest at Rupa sub-county headquarters after walking for 20km in the night.
Koriang has been on remand in Moroto prison for 14 months. Pte. Francis Masereka said after the shooting, a search was mounted along the main road to Moroto and Koriang was found seated with her one-year-old baby and taken back to the detachment.

Pte. Ariama Okello, the immediate neighbour, said the quarrels started after a UPDF team of doctors tested soldiers for HIV and found that Koriang was positive yet the husband was negative.

After reading the judgement, the court chairman said a number of soldiers' wives had killed their husbands. "To cut the rising trend, Judith Koriang, I am sentencing you to suffer death as a deterrent to others planning the same act," Ssebugwawo said.
After the ruling, Lt. Dan Madaba, her defence lawyer, allowed her to talk to her relatives briefly before she boarded a military truck to prison. The 3rd Division army spokesperson, Capt. Deo Akiiki, yesterday explained that Koriang, a civilian, was tried in the military court because the UPDF Act allows anybody in the company of the armed forces, who uses firearms to commit a crime, to be tried by the court.

Koriang is the second woman to be sentenced to death by the court martial. The first was Grace Ichakuna from Bukedea, who participated in killing her husband in 2008.

There are about 500 inmates in Luzira and Kirinya prisons on death row. Some were sentenced by the army court and others by the civil courts.

can we save this woman's life? what would you do? millions of this soldiers get away with masses of rape and murder but one woman who is a victim herself is sentenced to death after being in a police cell for 14 months without trial!!!!!!! in Africa do we women exist?

Fighting FGM by all means!
Ambassador Lucy .s .Mashua President of Mashua's voice for the voiceless International
Assisting refugees in the US and representation in advocasy
The Global Ambassador for fighting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fgm death tolls on the rise in Same district Mashua Against Fgm East Africa

Translation by Lucy Mashua

Tanzania is one of the countries with many ethnic groups, where each tribe have its traditions.
So far there are tribes in the country that still can not change his religion despite the fact that the world has changed and is now on globalization and science and technology system.
In ethnic regions of Shinyanga, Mwanza and Tabora is taboo for a woman to stay the same table with a man they have to eat together, be it night or day and these are traditions that can not be changed by globalization.
There are numerous examples showing clearly that systematic changes have no place in the traditions and customs of ethnic groups in the country and even other African countries.
But there are traditions that in one way or the other is repressive, not incompatible with the teachings of Allah /God and in general are a cruel and sexual abuse is not omithirika.
These rituals are those associated with mutilating baby girl by removing vital organs in their genitals.
Riding the brutal actions of mothers who are part of the parents and are known for the famous name of mutilated, who is paid a great wage and parents of children who are mutilated
Despite the persecution they suffered these children when they underwent the same violence that leads to deaths, the parents seemed thrilled to watch them celebrate by playing drums.
Despite these children mutilated, they are married at a tender age to older men who are twice as old as their fathers.
In some tribes, a girl you prepare all kinds of abuse, including isolation and called 'baby' even if his age is great, just because they are not mutilated and called names a lot of ridicule and large can not marry until they are mutilated.
Tests conducted by the Tanzania Always in the district of Same in Kilimanjaro and Babati in Manyara for the support of institutions of the Gender and Media Southern Africa (GEMSAT), a branch of Tanzania, has revealed that acts of mutilation for girls is rising pace despite the existence efforts by non-governmental organizations (NGO's) fight against such acts.

In the Same District, in partnership with parents mutilators transport have developed techniques to children and Handeni Mheza districts, Tanga Region where they are mutilated before they return home.
In villages Hedaru, Masandare, Kisamri, Billions, Emuguli and razor district Same, Kilimanjaro, girls who reach school age and those schools have been mutilated.Rose Mnyone is activist against violence against girls in the district of Same from non-profit organization The civil war of mutilation of NAFGEM lupiga, says in Same District is a chronic problem of mutilating girls, which so far can not be eradicated due to the absence of genuine pressure from the government.
she says FGM is harmful to girls, including the many lives lost due to bleeding a lot.
Iyeka dance is very popular dance in the Pare tribe, which takes place during the mutilation should make a woman's first birth to his offspring.
To answer the Mnyone, who is a retired community development officer, says that culture is a permanent mutilated woman who delivered but Pare culture has led to the breakdown of many marriages.
It is stated that many men are forced to abandon their wives by their partner and they were physical changes during sex, which occurs more than once after delivery.
The mutilating culture is quickly spreading to other areas like Bendera, Kihurio, Makokane, Karemawe, Kamadufa, Islander and elsewhere in the lower zone.
In trying to eradicate the practice, there is a strategy set by the activists including involving health centers, dispensaries and hosiptali make observations of infants who were sent there for treatment to see if they are mutilated.
The goal of this strategy is to ensure riding acts are arrested and brought to the state forces, though it is stated that the campaign is difficult due to some executives of media dollars and involved acts of corruption from the suspects.
Same District General, Ibrahim Marwa, he joins the activists to fight practice and ordering a campaign to hunt and encourage parents mutilators courteous riding practices to be sustainable.
"The child is entitled to his basic needs and protection, Tanzania has been in collaboration with various institutions to fight violence like this," he said.
the mutilation culture these woman have brought much harm to the children who underwent acts.
you all can remember our article on Debora Daniel (4) of the Village of Imbilili Babati District, Manyara Region is one of the children who were mutilated and died from bleeding a lot.
Studies have revealed that the child had been suffering from frequent colds was mutilated by the command of her parent, believing the right way to heal they sought mutilation but she bled to death for 8 days:(
The child was mutilated on October 11 last year and died October 18, after many days bleeding genitals and there was no effort to save her life until death .
Confidence of the executive officer of the village reported the child's father arrested him, who was arranging a quick burial after our public out cry and asked the police to give us the cause of death and arresting Deborah's father last year through our petition and grass root mobilization (Mashua against fgm foot soldiers)the body was taken and subjected to investigation and identified that the child had been mutilated.
Regional Police Commander Manyara, Parmenas Sumary, he acknowledged that there is much work to educate the community about the cruel practice of female children mutilation, where many are dying by bleeding a lot.
Sumary says the problem is happening events go un reported to police stations, as some parents use deception to claim their children have died of convulsions disease.

Fighting FGM by all means!
Ambassador Lucy .s .Mashua President of Mashua's voice for the voiceless International
Assisting refugees in the US and representation in advocasy
The Global Ambassador for fighting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Mila Ya Ukeketaji...FGM in Swahili for

Je umewahi kuchanwa au kakatwa na wembe? natumai uchungu unaufahamu..lakini mjini Pokot wasichana wanataabika,haswa wale wanaoolewa kwani baada ya kukeketwa wakiwa wasichana wadogo, sasa kizaazaa ni kufunguliwa njia na la kushangaza ni kwamba wanawake hulazimika kutumia pembe ya ng'ombe.Naam bila kukupotezea wakati tupate taarifa hii kutoka Pokot iliyoandaliwa na Lulu Hassan,ambaye anasema kwamba wenyewe wamechoshwa na zoezi hili na kuamua sasa kulitupa katika kaburi la sahau.This woman demonstrates how after Fgm they reopen the vagina using a bulls horn:( where the man waits outside then comes in to have sex with the agonizing bleeding pokot district my province rift valley. join our East Africa page for more info.

Madhara au athari hizi zinakuwa jinamizi linalomfuata mwanamke maisha yake yote.
Balozi Lucy Mashua ,
Balozi wa kukabiliana na ukeketaji duniani.
Msaidizi wa wakimbizi hapa Marekani
Mwenye kiti wa kamati inoyopinga ukeketaji duniani.