Monday, August 26, 2013

Parents now in Kenya bribing chiefs to secretly mutilate their daughters in the middle of night girls between 11-14 years old and marry them Sexual slavery, By Lucy Mashua Sharp (Courtesy of Standard Kenya)

West Pokot, KENYA: Hundreds of girls in East Pokot are said to have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) during the August holidays despite the practice being illegal. Parents in the region had their daughters mutilated as soon as the schools were closed last week. Sources claimed some parents have bribed local chiefs to allow the outlawed rite. In seven wards spread from Amaiya to Koloa alone, allegedly 216 girls aged between eleven and 14 were secretly taken through the ritual. Tangulbei Women’s Network against Gender Violence founder Mary Kuket said potential husbands have already approached the young girls for marriage in the next two weeks. She said many parents forced their daughters to undergo the FGM and urged the Government to step in and help stop the practice. “The community views them as women now ready to be married regardless of their age. This is very wrong and should be stopped,” she said. Kuket said although her network has stepped up anti-FGM and child marriage campaigns, the Government has failed to provide meaningful civic education to the residents especially those practicing it. At Tangulbei and Churo, she said women fighting against the practice have been forced to accommodate hundreds of girls fleeing their homes to escape the forceful mutilation until schools re-open next month. “In the entire East Pokot we have only two boarding schools that we have approached to keep the young girls in school to prevent them from being taken through the ritual, but we have to contribute towards their upkeep,” she said. She said the Government should protect the innocent girls and prosecute parents spearheading the practice. But East Pokot DC Daniel Kirui said he was not aware of such rites going on in the area, saying a surveillance team comprising chiefs and Administration Police to monitor and curtail such plans had been established. He warned of stern action against administrators condoning the vice.(Empty threats while children's human right is being abused) Ambassador Lucy Mashua Sharp, 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)/Expert witness on human rights) Leading in lobbying for HR 2221: The Girl's Protection Act sponsored by Rep. Joseph Crowley and Rep. Mary Bono Mack.