Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya - Paper Example

Published: 2024-01-15
Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya - Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Female Science Healthcare
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1297 words
11 min read


Different organizations around the globe are taking paths to fight against other world pandemics and practices. For instance, the World Health Organization (WHO) is a worldwide non-profit organization established in 1948 to work on global health issues (Momoh, 2005). Today, the organization stands to be the world's leading organization on health issues like fighting against malaria, Ebola, HIV, and tuberculosis (Hayashi, 2017). Besides, WHO is also one of the organizations fighting to end FGM by providing training programs, policies, and guidelines to health professionals who can reach out to the communities affected by FGM (Hayashi, 2017). Additionally, the organization collects evidence from the communities on the causes, how they act, and the consequences and then advocates it globally for action to be taken to end the practice. The paper focuses on the Female Genital Mutalition activities among Kenyan communities.

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FGM is a cultural activity in Kenya; it is considered a rite of passage in most communities. In some, it is done for marriage purity like the Meru and Maasai, and others to reduce sexual desires, for example, the Abagussii (“The Christian Science Monitor,” 2019). FGM is a global matter that affects social life and our cultural beliefs and has also crossed to have political side opinion where it is banned and considered illegal in Kenya. Unlike the local social organization like SAFE Maa, WHO has trained health workers to get information about the FGM practices (“The Christian Science Monitor,” 2019). According to the news in 2004, health caregivers said that communities like the Abagussi took their girls to be cut in hospital and consider that less risky (Hayashi, 2017). WHO goes against and proves that no matter how safe it might be, FGM still has side effects and might harm the woman.

World Health Organization is a global organization that focuses on 30 different countries facing FGC practices today. It states that over a 200million women living today aged 15 to 49 years have to undergo the act (Shetty, 2014). World Health Organization has opposed all sorts of FGM, including the ceremony practices, and put across all sorts of disadvantages of participation (“The Christian Science Monitor,” 2019). For instance, the subject is at risk of severe pain, excessive bleeding that might lead to death, swelling of the genitals, high fever, shock, and urinal problems that might lead vaginal infection, which may eventually lead to infertility (“The Christian Science Monitor,” 2019). In Kenya, female genital cutting is practiced among the Maasai communities.

Social organization- social organization involves a pattern of relationships among individuals and social groups. A social group may concern leadership, structure, division of labor, communication system, and sexual conformation. For instance, SAFE Maa is a social organization that brings individuals together to fight female genital mutilation in Kenya.

Values in society are the standards in which individuals in the community or a social group employ to achieve specific goals and shape the nature of social order. These social values include justice, freedom, respect, and responsibility (“The Christian Science Monitor,” 2019). For instance, the SAFE Maa social group visits the Loita cultural elders, where they discuss female genital mutilation and come up with a respectful decision that favors both parties. They agree to bless any other ritual for as long as the elders decide to stop FGM.

Top-down development approach- a development approach where progress is made from a whole project perspective to the specific entity that makes up the project. The fight against Female genital mutilation by SAFE Maa social group is done with the top-down approach, where the group made its first approach to the elders then later to individual families. Therefore, the fight against FGM is led by the Loita leaders, and hence creating awareness in schools and public places was comfortable (“The Christian Science Monitor,” 2019).

Women's rights – basic rules that govern women's basic needs and requirements. Women in society have several rights that protect them from discrimination. These rights include the right to be educated, own property, vote, and live free from discrimination and violence. In the article, the SAFE Maa organization fights for women not to undergo female genital mutilation in the Maasai community. The study shows that among five women in Kenya, one of them has undergone FGC, and the case becomes worse in the Maasai community, where 4 out of 5 women have undergone FGC (“The Christian Science Monitor,” 2019). The organization uses several approaches to overcome the discrimination that women face in society and hence achieve women's rights.

A female genital cutting (FGC) - an act of removing a part of total removal of the external genitalia or any other female injury done as a right of passage in the community (“The Christian Science Monitor,” 2019). FGC is a mild issue that needed attention and public education. According to the Demographic and Health Survey, 2014 in Kenya, 1 out of 5 women aged 15 to 49 have undergone FGC (Van Bavel, 2019). The cases worsen in the Maasai community, where nearly four women out of 5 (“The Christian Science Monitor,” 2019).

SAFE Maa- is a non-profit organization in Kenya that fights against women female genital mutilation. It is the only social organization in Kenya that has led a community to declare FGC abandonment publicly. It was not an easy way, and the founding member Sarah Tenoi Massi states it was no easy way to take since it took them over a decade to get community warriors to agree (Van Bavel, 2019). She states that she also went through the same FGC practice, and therefore it was not a good thing for girls to undergo (“The Christian Science Monitor,” 2019). The social organization members had to go to individual homes to get the family members to take ideas on FGC. However, even with the fights backs and resistance from the community, the government acknowledged a law that banned the act, but the participants still carried out the practice at night (Van Bavel, 2019). The SAFE Maa members had to have a meeting with the elders and agree to have a right of passage ceremony but not to perform the act (“The Christian Science Monitor,” 2019). These led to success, leading to public education, seminars that led to the reduction of the culture among the Maasai and Marakwet.


In conclusion, the FGM act is a global act that has not affected many countries but has also caused the death of young girls. However, the act is still on in some countries. Nevertheless, social organizations like SAFE Maa and the world health organization have used different mechanisms in Kenya to reduce FGC's rate.


Hayashi, M. (2017). The State of Female Genital Mutilation among Kenyan Maasai: The View from a Community Based Organisation in Maa Pastoral Society. Senri Ethnological Reports, 143, 95-117. https://minpaku.repo.nii.ac.jp/?action=repository_action_common_download&item_id=7527&item_no=1&attribute_id=22&file_no=1

The Christian Science Monitor. (2019, March 1). As Kenyan Maasai abandon girls' ritual cutting, elders lead the way. https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/2019/0301/As-Kenyan-Maasai-abandon-girls-ritual-cutting-elders-lead-the-way

Momoh, C. (Ed.). (, 2005). Female genital mutilation. Radcliffe Publishing. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=dVjIP0RfVAMC&oi=fnd&pg=PR5&dq=Momoh,+C.+(Ed.).+(,+2005).+Female+genital+mutilation.+Radcliffe+Publishing.&ots=THd340N6UM&sig=lLz9MlWdaF6_0jVHm0QqfXRiS9c

Shetty, P. (2014). Slow progress in ending female genital mutilation. World Health Organization. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 92(1), 6. http://search.proquest.com/openview/8888d38dc9105689b956226f3814770b/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=38034

Van Bavel, H. (2019). At the intersection of place, gender, and ethnicity: changes in female circumcision among Kenyan Maasai. Gender, Place & Culture, 1-22. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1186/s12978-020-00910-1.pdf

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