Message of RACIDA C.E.O -Mohamoud Duale
9 out of 10 girls and women in north eastern part of Kenya are circumcised. This is a clear manifestation of deeply entrenched gender inequality between the sexes and constitute an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls in the region.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) persists in this region mainly because the practice is attributed to religious belief. This is a myth that needs to be debunked. FGM is not an Islamic requirement. There is no reference to it in the Holy Qu’ran that states girls must be circumcised nor is there any authentic reference to this in the Sunnah, the sayings or traditions of our Prophet. One of the basic principles of Islam comes from the Prophet when he said: “Do not harm yourself or others. In this sense female genital mutilation is condemnable as it irreversibly harms the girl or woman.
FGM has no health benefits but only harm. It denies our daughters, sisters, mothers and wives their dignity, endangers their health and causes needless pain and suffering with the consequences that last for a lifetime and can even be fatal.
FGM is child abuse, torture, violence against women and girls, sexual assault. Often it’s all about controlling women bodies. FGM violates human rights principles and standards including the principles of equality and non-discrimination on the basis of sex, the right to freedom from torture or inhumane or degrading treatment, the rights of the child, the right to physical and mental integrity, the right to the highest attainable standard of health and the right to life.
On this international day of zero tolerance for FGM, I call upon all communities in north eastern region to shun this inhumane act. There is also need for civil society organizations, religious leaders, elders, national government and the county governments in the region to intensify actions against this horrific human rights violation in the region for the sake of our women and girls.
I am against FGM because I am against all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls. Gender equality is vital if we are to achieve all the global goals by 2030. We must ensure that no girl or woman is left behind by ending FGM now and for good. Doing so helps create a healthier and better world for all.
Together we can end FGM in Kenya by 2030.