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February 21, 2019

Kenya committed to end FGM - CS Sicily Kariuki

Health CS Sicily Kariuki during the launch of the African Union initiative on ending FGM in Addis Ababa on February 11, 2019. /COURTESY
Health CS Sicily Kariuki during the launch of the African Union initiative on ending FGM in Addis Ababa on February 11, 2019. /COURTESY

Kenya remains committed to Africa's common goal of ending FGM, Health CS Sicily Kariuki has said.

The CS spoke on behalf of President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday in Addis Ababa during the launch of the African Union Initiative on ending FGM. She said Kenya will continue to take relevant measures towards the total elimination of the harmful practice.

The initiative dubbed Saleema Initiative was launched by Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, who is the African Champion on the elimination of FGM.

Read: FGM: Men's role in ending the vice

“We have also enhanced community involvement through capacity building targeting law enforcement officers and traditional Council of Elders,"  the CS said.

Kariuki said the government is implementing various policies among them the National Policy on Prevention and Response to Gender-Based Violence, the National Policy on Human Rights and the National Policy for the Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation.

"The involvement of elders in the fight against FGM has brought on board more men as champions of the rights of girls,” she said.

The CS highlighted that the practice has no medical benefit but instead contributes to health complications relating to maternal and infant health.

Kariuki said communities that practice FGM have poor maternal, child and infant health statistics and noted that the majority of women who have been "cut" required medical attention at some time in their lives for problems caused by the procedure.

“Investing in solutions that protect and fulfil girls’ sexual health and rights creates a ripple effect that benefits families and communities,” she said on behalf of the President.

The CS said female circumcision is also a precursor for child marriages, and to safeguard the rights of children in particular girls, Kenya launched the campaign to end child marriage in 2016.

Also read: Nineteen arrested in Uganda FGM raid

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