ALTERNATIVE INCOME

Female circumcisers who abandon practice might get state stipend, says Shebesh

The alternative income might keep them away from the practice

In Summary

• Those in the cut business are among the biggest challenges in the fight against FGM as they earn from the practice.

• Discussion on the danger of female circumcision is considered taboo in some societies. 

 

Female circumcisers who abandon the practice might get stipends from the government, according to a Chief Administrative Secretary.

This might keep them away from the practice as the government seeks to end female genital mutilation by 2022.

“Women who conduct the cutting are among the biggest challenges in the fight against FGM as they earn from the practice,” Rachel Shebesh, the Public Service and Gender CAS said.

She talked to the media in Isiolo on Thursday after meeting resource persons from 22 counties where FGM is rampant.

Shebesh said the anti-FGM law calls for the arrest and prosecution of those involved in the outlawed practice.

 “Administration officials are tasked with the implementation of that law, but there have been challenges. This is why we are considering the idea of identifying the circumcisers in every village since they are known and offering them stipends as alternative sources of income,” Shebesh said.

Chair of Anti-FGM Board Agnes Pareiyo said the war against FGM was bearing fruits.  Prevalence rates had dropped to 21% in the last few years.

“The outlawed practice inflicts serious damage on the victims, but the society remains quiet since it is considered a taboo to speak out about it,” Pareiyo said.

United Nations Population Fund country representative Ademola Olajide reiterated her organisation's support to end the outlawed practice by the year 2022.

The delegates from the 22 counties were commemorating Zero Tolerance to FGM at the Isiolo police grounds.