Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Kenyan women in Parliament push for a life time sentence for FGM Perpetrators while Men Mp push for 3 years.

People who practise female genital mutilation should be jailed for life, a Cabinet minister has proposed.

The practice, according to Gender and Children Affairs minister Esther Murugi, was entrenched in all but four communities in Kenya and the prevalence was alarming.

Ms Murugi said previous attempts by the Government as well as local and international organisations bore little success, going by the number of incidents reported.

“Past interventions have been a drop in the ocean, going by the statistics. FGM must be seen as a violation of human rights,” said the minister.

The highest figures were recorded among the Somali, Kisii, Kuria and Maasai communities. The prevalence rate in these communities averages 90 per cent .

Others were Taita Taveta (62 per cent), Kalenjin (48 per cent), Embu (44 per cent) and Meru (42 per cent.)

The rate was lesser among the Kikuyu with 34 per cent and Kamba at 37 per cent.

The Luo, Luhya, Turkana and Teso communities do not practise FGM, according to the statistics.

The minister was launching the National FGM Coordinating Committee, a body empowered to provide a common guide for all those involved in the fight against the practice.

She said the Government still supported other methods aimed at ending deep-rooted traditional beliefs that encouraged female mutilation.

The State and non-governmental organisations would continue campaigns to inform the public about the negative effects of FGM, Ms Murugi said.

Legal measures

The Sexual Offences Act, the Children’s Act, the National Commission on Gender and Development Act, the Affirmative Action Bill and the Domestic Violence Bill are some of legal measures aimed at curbing the vice.

Alternative rites of passage have also been organised for girls and traditional mutilators educated on alternative means of earning income.

“But we’ve noted a trend whereby parents are taking their daughters to be circumcised secretly in hospitals, thus frustrating our efforts,” said Ms Murugi.

Monday’s launch at a city hotel was attended by, among others, representatives of the United Nations Population Fund. This is good news KWOPA keep pushing. 3 years imprisonment is nothing!!!
Ambassador Lucy S. Mashua, President of Mashua Voice for the Voiceless, International
Assisting and advocating for U.S. refugees and women’s rights
Global Ambassador for Ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Chairperson of the Worldwide Campaign Against FGM
Leading in lobbying for HR 5137: The Girl's Protection Act sponsored by Rep. Joseph Crowley and Rep. Mary Bono Mack.