Former chairperson of the anti-Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) board Linah Jebii Kilimo has expressed the need for East African countries to have a common law that will deal with the issue of cross-border.
This is after more than two hundred girls were reunited with their families.
The girls from Kuria were rescued in Tanzania where they had gone to undergo the outlawed practice.
Kilimo says 5 East African Countries recently formed an inter-ministerial committee on cross-border FGM, which has been mandated to develop the common law.
She notes that a number of communities within the region still subject their girls to FGM, despite it being an illegal practice.
According to the former anti-FGM board boss, most members of the community practice FGM because of beliefs, myths, and misconceptions of their forefathers.
“They fear the unknown more than the law. This fear of the unknown is fired by the myths that if you are not cut the spirits will haunt you…if you are not cut you will not get married…if you are not cut the spirits of the ancestors will ask you why you have abandoned your culture….” noted the former Marakwet East Member of Parliament.
And with Kenya seeking to end FGM by the end of 2022, Kilimo suggests that there is a need to educate the members of the society on the dangers of the practice on girls.
Statistics indicate that more than 9 million women and girls have undergone FGM in Kenya.
Communities largely affected by the practice include Somali, Kuria, Marakwet, and Kisii.