Tuesday, December 9, 2008
The girls of Kenya are fleeing female genital mutilation a.k.a "circumcision"
Though its against the law in Kenya, traditionalists still practice female circumcision to the horror of what has numbered 200 young girls subjected to the torture each day.
Parents, even when in disagreement with the disfiguring and infection-causing 'rite of passage' have faced pressure from traditionalists, to the extent that some of the parents encourage their daughters to run for shelter during the ritual times between November and December, when it is practiced.
Despite the high infant mortality of newborns born to mothers who have had their genitals mutilated, the practice has persisted, as a rite of passage into womanhood. Many girls have dropped out school in January after the practice thinking of themselves as commodities who will be married off, with no further need of school after the process.
But not all the girls are willing to be tortured for tradition. At least 300 girls have fled Western Kenya to avoid having their genitals mutilated, seeking refuge in churches that are guarded with the aid of police. The girls are in the care of Maendeleo Ya Wanawake, two churches that have formed an organization to aid young women in their evasion of the illegal rite of FGM.
The organization has expressed praise for the assistance of the police in their efforts to carry out their mission as providers of sanctuary whose purpose coupled with the protection of the police spell hope in a dismal mess where tradition has, at least until now, defied the rights of women and literally, babies anywhere from infancy to age 15, despite the protection the law is meant to provide.
Let's hope the practice of hacking at the genitals of innocent young women, or older women for that matter is put to a stop. The women's body is designed without error, and should be revered as such. The dangers of patriarchy must be put to rest, if the world in its entirety is to ever regain its sanity.
Crossposted at Ultraviolet Underground