NGOs working against FGM should work with churches- Ombwayo

Micontrap Kenya field officer Pascallia Ghati during the function

Micontrap Kenya field officer Pascallia Ghati during the function

By Micontrap Kenya Writer

On Wednesday, Micontrap-Kenya through Pan Africa Women Association- Norway organised a day workshop with religious leaders from Kuria and Maasai communities to help end the high cases of of Female Genital Mutilation through church leaders.

We also had imams from the Muslim faith in the areas at our office which is located at Total estate in Migori town.

We believe civic organisations should work with churches to help end the vice because the cleric have large congregations with a huge pool of women, youths and children who are most affected by FGM.

Ms. Benter Ombwayo, the country coordinator of Pan Africa Women Association of Norway, added that the belief by locals that going against FGM may bring curse is always not held by church leaders.

Reverend Francis Tukero, a church leader from Kilgoris in Narok county said church environment can be best area to educate the community against the vice as biblically it is not written.

“We have resorted to have church weddings for girls and women who have refused to undergo the cut as a way to encourage women to shun the vice,” Rev. Tukero said.

He said the country culture is greatly shaped by Christianity.

Tukero said during last year FGM celebrations public administrators were castigated by the society through cultural elders when they stood firm against the vice but church leaders were spared.

“They knew any curse levied against the church was inconsequential as our stand against the vice is based on biblical faith,” Mr. Tukero said.

Church leaders said they have also resorted to have church weddings for girls not circumcised as the best way to show the society that undergoing the cut is not a prerequisite for getting a husband.

Mr. Victor Ang’awa, Micontrap-Kenya Administrator observed that even after established laws against FGM, lack of funds for anti-FGM board which should be devolved has hampered fight against the vice.

“Most often the work is left to chiefs and their assistants who are still afraid of culture in closely knit societies they work in, leaving church leaders as the best alternative,” he said.