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Elders publicly declared that the spirits (god) have allowed ending FGM with no consequences, Kuria, Kenya

By Tobias Marwa, 

Zinduka has been at the forefront in implementing programs targeting the empowerment of women and girls through awareness creation on FGM, child marriages, education/sponsorship of vulnerable girls, and other gender-related issues. 

About Zinduka

The organization runs rescue centres during school holidays to offer safe shelter to girls who might be at risk of FGM to protect them from being subjected to the practice.

Following the long Easter holidays and anticipated cutting, we conducted a massive Media Campaign on ending FGM and keeping girls safe during the Easter Holidays.

The campaign began on 16th March- 21st April 2022. The project primarily aimed at creating awareness of the health effects of FGM, the law on FGM, positive parenting, the council of elders and FGM, Religion and FGM, and child protection and right among others.

Mzee Nyugusuka “We offered sacrifices and the gods allowed us to stop FGM with no consequences.”

In achieving the above we engaged with: 

  1. Council of elders 
  2. Health experts
  3. Activists
  4.  Role models 
  5. Religious leaders 
  6. Male champions against FGM and child marriages 
  7. Cutters 
  8. Government officials 
FGM in Kuria is determined and dedicated by the council of elders, they give directions on when and how it should be conducted. During this campaign, the council of elders openly and publicly declared that the spirits (god) have allowed… Share on X

 They further declared that FGM is illegal and it should stop, anyone found perpetrating it should face the law. 

There was immediate feedback from the listeners on the health effects noting that they have been perpetrating the vice without knowing its long-term effects and vowed to stop it.  Kuria, Kenya Share on X

Challenges encountered during the campaign were not limited to:

  1. Time allocated by the media house 
  2. Light reporting by the participants to the media house
  3. Limited resources  

Despite all the shortcomings, it was Evident that FGM is a violation of human rights and against the law and has no medical benefits and hence should stop.

Since the radio programme: Cutters also come out boldly and agree to stop FGM and urged the government to take action against whoever will be found carrying on the practice. Share on X

Next time:

If we were to carry out the activity again we would make the media program 2 hours a day from 1 hour

Ruth Harley

Ruth Harley is working with GMC as a Website News Editor, compiling stories written by End FGM campaigners working with the Global Media Campaign to End FGM across Africa. Alongside this work, she is running The Women’s Vinyl Project which empowers women and girls through singing and music and is helping to end FGM.