Thursday, October 18, 2012

Stopping Female Circumcision for Maasai Women

I welcome and congratulate the Maasai in Kenya for their decision to cease the barbaric act of female circumcision.

In a traditional 2 day ceremony in Kenya the fate of 52 young girls was changed in an historic Alternative Rites of Passage (ART) performed without female circumcision.

Maasai men and women who accepted the new ceremony have embraced a new way forward in health and education for their culture. Three Maasai women were selected by the African Schools of Kenya (ASK) to talk with the girls about issues ranging from their basic human rights as young women to reasons for using birth control.

Female circumcision, widely known as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), is illegal in Kenya and is punishable by law, yet it is still practised in many countries worldwide. Many regions in Africa and some countries in Asia and the Middle East widely practise the procedure, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). According to the WHO website, it is estimated that 100-140 million women and girls have already been subjected to some form of FGM.

As a global community we need to act to end female circumcision and other practices or traditions that are simpy violence against women.

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