Female Genital Mutilation | ActionAid UK

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Female Genital Mutilation

Dinah Chepkamei, Programme Manager and women's rights champion for ActionAid Kenya

Fighting FGM in Kenya: A story of change

Posted in Blogs 3 years 11 months ago

I live in Kitale, in the eastern part of Kenya and I’ve been working for ActionAid since 2005. I was born and belong to this community, but unlike the majority of girls as I was growing up, I was lucky. Instead of being forced to have female genital mutilation (FGM) and enter into early marriage, my parents gave me an education.

Girls in Kenya use song and dance to send an anti-FGM message

“I often think of suicide”. This is the final line from a young girl whose story was sent to me this week. This girl is 16 years old and from Ghana. She was forced to undergo female genital mutilation as a small child and was told that having her genitals mutilated would make her attractive to potential husbands and ensure she was faithful to him. 

Young girls at school in Ethiopia

Look at this photo of smiling girls. They are all nine years old. They live in Ethiopia, and thanks to an ActionAid project they are at school rather than being forced to drop out to get married.

Kembi, with Mbeyu George, a member of the Sauti Women's group, sort through corn they have scavenged on Mwakirunge Dumpsite, Mombasa

Just over two days. That’s how long you have to make twice the difference to women and girls globally, who are faced with poverty and violence every single day. Until midnight on Wednesday 25 June the UK government will double all donations made to our She CAN appeal. Time is running out and I’m hoping that you will share our sense of urgency and dig deep. 

Girls who escaped FGM with ActionAid's help play with their classmates in the compound of an ActionAid-supported school in West Pokot, Kenya

Last year the Department for International Development (DFID) launched a £35 million programme working across 17 countries to support Africa-led movements to end female genital mutilation. This and the UK government's upcoming July event aimed at empowering girls to reject mutilation and forced early marriage are to be applauded.

Emma Thompson and her adopted son Tindy, visited Liberia with ActionAid

Long-time ActionAid supporter and women's rights activist Emma Thompson is helping to raise awareness of what is a totally unnecessary practice and is encouraging people to take a stand and help eradicate female genital mutilation.