Do We Have The Right To Defend The Neighbour’s Daughter Against FGM?

Cultural intimidation can really negatively affect the war on FGM because nobody wants to be seen as “thinking and acting outside the box” or diverting from the main path a path that might go against the neighbour, the clan, the age group, age set or community at large. A lot of invisible structures are more powerful than the visible ones. Too much invisible powers control the perceptions and abilities of abled and well meaning people to keep the glow at all times. It is therefore very important to involve all stakeholders in the community and in particular those regarded as the cultural guardians. See the latest study on FGM here. #End_FGM_together

Reference to Kenya law on FGM

Article 44

sections 3

Section 26 of this Act “permits a law enforcement officer, without a warrant, to enter any premises for the purposes of ascertaining whether there is or has been, on or in connection with such premises any contravention of this Act.”

The Section (3) states that “A person shall not compel another person to perform, observe, or undergo any cultural practice or rite.”

Article 53 on Children declares that

(1) every child has the right to be protected from abuse, neglect, harmful cultural practices, and all forms of violence, inhumane treatment and punishment…

Article 55 on Youth compels the State to take measures, including affirmative action programs to ensure the youth-  are protected from harmful cultural practices and exploitation.

Article 59 on the Bill of Rights provides for the establishment of the Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission, with the functions of the Commission being enumerated in the same article.

On promoting: gender equity, respect for human rights and redress for human rights violations,

Affirmative action programmes by receiving complaints and suggestions, monitoring and investigation, coordination and facilitation, protection and observance, compiling reports and undertaking remedial action, among other functions

See Chapter Fifteen of the Kenyan Constitution on Commissions and Independent Offices.

  1. Other Provisions

(a) The Children’s Act No.8 of 2001

Section 14 of this Act states that “No person shall subject a child to female circumcision, early marriage or other  cultural rites, customs or traditional practices that are likely to negatively affect the  child’s life, health, social welfare, dignity or physical or psychological development.

Section 27 of this Act mandates the Kenyan Government to take necessary steps within its available resources to—

Protect women and girls from female genital mutilation;

Provide support services to victims of female genital mutilation; and

Undertake public education and sensitive the people of Kenya on the dangers and adverse effects of female genital mutilation.