By Lilian Kaivilu
A women’s group in Kamuthe location in Garissa is spearheading the war against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Started in 2013, the group known as Kamuthe women Network comprises 50 women from Kamuthe, Warable and Nathir villages.
“We started as four women but now the number has increased to 50. Our aim was to address cases of violence against women. Female Genital Mutilation was our biggest concern. As women, we have gone through FGM and we did not want our daughters to go through the same horror,” said Maka Kassim, the chairperson of the women group. Actionaid has facilitated training sesions with the group, equipping its members with information on early marriage, dangers of FGM and rape.
5: Number of rescue centres built by the organisation, to fight FGM and child marriages
Through the women network, cases of child marriage in the area have dropped. According to Actionaid, each girl is now required to produce an ID card before she can be allowed to marry. In order to give refuge to survivors of FGM, early marriages and dysfunctional families, Actionaid has partnered with WomanKind rescue centre in Garissa town which now hosts 137 girls.
Besides the Women network, Actionaid is also involving school-going boys and girls in the region through the boys forum and the girls forum respectively. Yusuf Abdi, Actionaid Programs officer in Garissa says they are also engaging cultural leaders in the fight against FGM.
133m girls and women affected by FGM globally, according to Unicef
645 girls have so far been rescued so far from FGM by Actionaid
2011: Year when FGM was outlawed in Kenya
Cases of FGM and early marriages have reduced by 50% in Kamuthe, according to Actionaid