Woman forced into FGM by husband and mother-in-law

Police have arrested the two suspects

In Summary

• Chesang said the woman from West Pokot  was forced to undergo the cut without her consent.

• Activist said forced FGM of married women undermines her fight against FGM as married uncut women are at risk.

The logo of Enkiteng Lepa School in Majimoto area of Narok South subcounty.
GIRLS NOT COWS: The logo of Enkiteng Lepa School in Majimoto area of Narok South subcounty.

Married women who have not undergone FGM are in danger of being forcefully cut and mutilated in West Pokot and elsewhere.

NGOs and leaders in West Pokot have raised the alarm about secret FGM ceremonies.

They said many parents planned secret ceremonies to cut their girls during the long holiday season.

A girl is not considered marriageable until she is cut and part of her genitalia removed and mutilated to deaden sexual pleasure.

But women are cut also, sometimes willingly because they can't endure the discrimination, or against their will. 

Recently a married woman was forcefully subjected to FGM by her husband and mother-in-law.

Speaking to press in Kapenguria, I am Responsible coordinator Domtila Chesang said the woman was forced to undergo the act by the husband and mother-in-law. She had refused to be mutilated.

Chesang said these actions undermine their efforts since uncut married women are in danger.

“This is a great risk to women who are married and have not undergo the act. The government and organisations fighting FGM should devise ways protect the women, ”he said.

Chesang thanked chiefs from the region for acting fast and ensuring the culprits were arrested.

“Chiefs from areas where FGM is still rampant have played a critical role in ensuring cases in their areas have declined," she said.

Two weeks ago, a 14-year-old girl escaped after her family had her beaten and forcefully married off. Her father and brother had accepted dowry from her suitor.

The girl managed to escape from the marriage after the men who had beaten, and presumably guarded her, got drunk.

The girl walked more than 20km to Marich police station where she sought refuge.

Last week, a 15-year-old girl underwent corrective surgery at Kapenguria County Referral Hospital after she was unable to pass urine and menses after she underwent FGM.

Chesang has also asked parents to remain vigilant and  take good care of their children.

"Most cases are due to parental negligence, many parents have left their children to loiter in towns and this has exposed them to many risks," the activist said.

(Edited by V. Graham)

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