CS Jumwa Calls For End To Female Genital Mutilation

Survivors of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), have been asked to amplify their voices in the fight against the vice to protect future generations from the grips. Cabinet Secretary (CS) Gender, Culture, Arts, and Heritage, Aisha Jumwa, underscored the importance of collective action in safeguarding the rights of girls and women. The CS was speaking at Sambirir Girls High School, Sambirir Ward, Marakwet East, Elgeyo Marakwet County. She urged survivors to become ambassadors for change, emphasizing that their voices hold significant power in preventing future cases of FGM. 'Together, we must raise awareness, educate communities, and advocate for laws and policies that protect girls and women from this harmful practice,' emphasized CS Jumwa during her address at Sambirir Girls High School. She further asked local Chiefs to take decisive action in identifying and apprehending perpetrators within their jurisdictions, stressing that FGM cannot persist without their knowledge. Highlighting the crucial role of r esources in combating FGM, CS Jumwa called for increased funding for the anti-FGM Board. She affirmed the government is committed to eradicating harmful cultural practices and ensuring the protection of all citizens, particularly vulnerable girls. CS Jumwa mandated the CEO of the anti-FGM Board to engage with men at the grassroots level, emphasizing the importance of their role in protecting their daughters. 'The men have to sign a declaration that they will protect their girls,' she stated. CS Jumwa addressed the misconception that FGM is solely perpetrated by women, warning all individuals involved in the practice to cease their actions or face legal repercussions. 'Even if our wives have undergone FGM, we do not have to subject our kids to the same,' she asserted. Echoing the call to action, Elgeyo Marakwet Deputy Governor, Prof. Grace Cheserek, emphasized the need for alternative rites of passage that do not involve FGM. She urged organizations such as World Vision, to revise their alternative curr icula to provide viable options for girls. Cheserek stressed the importance of engaging men in the fight against FGM, stating, ' we can practice culture without practicing FGM.' Prof. Cheserek called for comprehensive prosecution of FGM-related cases and reiterated the commitment to ending Gender-Based Violence. David Kosny, Mission Director of USAID, underscored the significance of dialogue and community engagement in effecting positive change. He emphasized the importance of amplifying the voices of survivors and investing in prevention and support services. Dr. Josephine Obonyo, Secretary for Gender at the State Department for Gender and Affirmative Action, expressed gratitude to religious institutions for their ongoing efforts against FGM. She emphasized the need for collaboration between religion, culture, government, and development partners to win the war on FGM. Source: Kenya News Agency

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