Gender commission calls for more investment in FGM survivor-led movements

National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) Chairperson Dr Joyce Mutinda.  [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) has urged the government to support the survivor-led movements against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the country.

The commission chairperson Joyce Mutinda made the call on February 6, as the world observed the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, with the theme “Her Voice, Her Future”.

“Survivors of FGM are invaluable partners in the fight against this harmful practice that violates the human rights of women and girls, creates gender inequality and power imbalance, and poses serious health risks,” stated Mutinda. 

NGEC praised the survivors for their resilience and courage in overcoming the challenges posed by FGM and advocated for more investment in their movements.

“Investing in survivor-led movements goes beyond financial support and acknowledges their expertise, amplifies their voices, and creates spaces where they can lead and thrive,” added Mutinda.

The chairperson added that the movements can create a safe space for dialogue, provide mentorship and economic opportunities for survivors, and actively engage communities in ending the practice.

The international community has committed to end FGM by 2030 through sustainable development goals. Kenya has made significant progress in reducing the prevalence of FGM since it outlawed the practice in 2011.

 According to statistics, the percentage of women of reproductive age who have undergone FGM has dropped from 32 per cent in 2003, to 21 per cent in 2014, and 15 per cent in 2022.

The commission commended the government for its efforts and funding towards the eradication of FGM and called for more collaboration among all stakeholders.

Cabinet Secretary for Gender, Culture, Arts and Heritage, Aisha Jumwa, also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to end FGM and ensure that all learners stay in school.

“I outline the need to work closely with county governments to ensure every stakeholder plays their part, especially our security agencies since FGM is illegal in Kenya,” Jumwa said in Elgeyo Marakwet county.