Fear of curses pushing parents to circumcise daughters
The Anglican Church Diocese of Mbeere has now embarked on spiritual interventions in fighting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) among the faithful who subject their female kin to the circumcision in fear of curses.
Bishop Moses Masamba said many devout Christians took their daughters through FGM, well aware that it’s illegal and harmful to girls but afraid that if they fail to do so a curse would befall them.
“Some of the people participating in FGM were told by their grandmothers that every female member of the family must undergo the cut and a curse would befall those who don’t honour the obligation. This is why some go to any length to have their girls circumcised even if that means being put in jail,” said Rev Masamba.
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Already, a Runyenjes court has sentenced a man, his wife, a relative and a female circumciser to seven years imprisonment after they were found guilty of subjecting their daughter to FGM.
According to Rev Masamba the church is breaking such curses through prayers and spiritual interventions and those redeemed should no longer fear the curses.
“Apart from that we reach to girls in schools, churches and community institutions and warn them on the dangers of FGM. We are encouraging the circumcisers to find other means of earning their livelihoods. We have linked them to merry go round groups. With time we will end the practise,” said Masamba.
He spoke during a conference for 850 young people at Nyagwa Boys High School in Mbeere South where they were taught on sexuality and positive living, among other issues.
Embu Children’s Executive Dr Joan Mwende said a team set up by her department immediately schools closed to help end (FGM) was bearing fruit.
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She said the team was composed of men and women who detect and report planned circumcisions to the authorities for action.
“FGM must stop because once girls are circumcised, they are considered adults who can engage in sex and even get married. Many never get to continue with their education. We are also fighting early marriages and drug abuse among youth,” she said.
On Monday, the man, his wife, a relative and a female circumciser (names withheld to hide the identity of the victim) were found guilty of subjecting the secondary school girl to the FGM on December 2, 2018.
Runyenjes Senior Resident Magistrate Beatrice Kimemia said the prosecution had proved the case and the jail term would serve as a deterrent.
The girl told the court that her parents tricked her into undergoing circumcision at the neighbour’s home.
The women overpowered her but she managed to escape and reported the matter at Runyenjes police station.
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The girl was placed under the care of a relative, while nominated MP Cecily Mbarire is paying for her education.
Anglican ChurchFGMFemale Genital MutilationRunyenjes Senior Resident Magistrate Beatrice Kimemia