The Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) estimates the prevalence rate of FGM in Kenya has having dropped from 32% (DHS 2003) to 21% (DHS 2014).
An emerging leadership, increased media attention and a rise in community-level engagement is helping to increase the profile, visibility and united action to end FGM in Kenya. Grassroots organisations have been campaigning against FGM in Kenya for over 20 years. Their work has successfully prompted increasing political will from central government and the Kenya Women’s Parliamentary Association. They have also benefitted from the involvement of UN agencies and civil society groups. Following their positive influence, a law prohibiting FGM was introduced in 2011.
27% of girls and women aged 15 to 49 years who have undergone FGM
Political and legal context
- In 2001, the national legislation banning FGM was passed
- The Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act, was amended in 2011
A number of approaches to tackle FGM have been used, including:
- Law enforcement, by the criminalisation of FGM perpetuators. However, there have been very few adjudicated cases (or punishment of the practitioners), and many are unwilling to step forward and discuss FGM (let alone seek protection or compensation under the law).
- Alternative rites of passage and inter-generational dialogues.
- Demonstrating the incompatibility of FGM with religion.
- Awareness-raising about the negative consequences of FGM.
- Provision of alternative sources of income to traditional cutters.
- Establishment of rescue homes for girls escaping FGM.
Our work in Kenya aims to:
- Build upon and amplify success stories from national stakeholders who we work with to foster increased engagement with the national social movement.
- Work with members and partners to collectively profile successes achieved at the grassroots level by drawing increased media attention on the issue, and encouraging dialogue with local communities.
- Play a catalytic role in linking grassroots organisations with national platforms, and to develop champions and Ambassadors, who are equipped and supported to speak out on FGM issues.
- Develop a comprehensive national social change communication strategy, working with the Anti-FGM Board.
Our work compliments efforts made by the Ministry of Public Service, Gender and Youth Affairs (Gender Directorate), the line ministry in charge of activities on issues of gender-based violence. This Ministry oversees the work of the Anti-FGM Board and the National Coordinating Committee for FGM, both of which are key partners of The Girl Generation. We will continue working with national partners to ensure joint venture support from national leadership, and contributing to the wider national agenda of ending gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices.