West Pokot County Commissioner’s office with the Ministry of Public Service and Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programme have challenged area Chiefs and their Assistants, to scale up the war against all forms of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in their villages by the year 2022.
Addressing West Pokot County area Chiefs in Kipkomo Sub-county within the region, West Pokot Director of Gender, Emmanuel Oigo, underscores the importance of supporting the President’s directive to end FGM by 2021 fully.
“We need to take note of the government’s commitment to end all forms of FGM in Kenya. This vice has been detrimental to the physical health, social, and emotional well-being of women and girls,” Oigo, the Ministry of Public Service and Gender Senior Citizens Affairs and Special Programme stated.
Oigo noted that there is a need to reduce the prevalence of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and FGM, as it remains one of the most serious threats to physical and emotional health with no benefits of the practice to women and girls in Kenya nor the world in general.
He challenged Chiefs to support the President’s commitment to zero tolerance to all forms of Female Genital Mutilation by the year 2022.
“I urge you to increase awareness about the harmful effects of FGM and of the need to end sexual and Gender-Based Violence, that has affected the welfare and dignity of women and girls in your villages,” he urged.
Kipkomo Sub-county Assistant County Commissioner (ACC), Teresia Muguro, stated the practice of Female Genital Mutilation, must come to an end and all the stakeholders in the West, Anti FGM agency Committees both in the County and National Government, to ensure they put an end to FGM as directed by the President.
Muguro reiterated that all FGM stakeholders have an obligation to ensure all perpetrators are prosecuted.
“Female Genital Mutilation is illegal in Kenya and those who violate the legislation and policy measures should be prosecuted,” she warned.
Silvester Munyasia, from the West Pokot County Commissioners Office, put all Chief and their Assistants on notice, warning that if they are found to be part of the weak link in the fight against FGM, they risk facing dire disciplinary action, including termination of service and prosecution.
“Area Chiefs and their Assistant have an obligation to lead by example and those who will derail the presidential directive, they will have no choice but to relieve them of their duties,” he warned.
However, Munyasia challenged them to ensure they successfully take an active role in the implementation of the government agenda in the fight against FGM cases and sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
He further directed Chiefs to ensure they report any cases of FGM and for appropriate action to be taken.
According to Munyasia, the prevalence rate of FGM has declined in the County and called for more cooperation from all the stakeholders, saying their target is to put an end to all forms of violence against women and girls that has resulted in child marriage, forced sexual debut and health complications in the course of their lives.
According to Moses Lokeris, a Deputy Headteacher at Ortum Girls Secondary School in West Pokot, said the FGM practice was performed in the region without anaesthetic or clean tools.
“Female Genital Mutilation process involved the partial or complete removal of the clitoris and total removal of labia and covering the urethra and vagina, while only leaving a small opening for passage of urine,” Lokeris explained.
Lokeris described the all process of Female Genital Mutilation as a human right violation and a form of violation against women and girls hence needs to be stopped.