Outlawed female cut keeping girls out of school, officials warn

Hundreds of women and girls in North Rift continue to be subjected to female circumcision despite the practice being outlawed.

This has in turn negatively affected education of girls in the region, with reports indicating that less than 50 per cent of circumcised girls continue with the learning; the rest are married off after the cut.

Girls as young as 10 in parts of Baringo, West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet counties are reported to have dropped out of school after being circumcised.

The practice, commonly referred to as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), is usually a precursor to marriage and it is a norm for freshly initiated women to be married off in exchange for bride price.

Educationalists and child right groups in the region are now worried that the prolonged stay at home of learners occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic and the plenty of food in the region would spell doom for the girl child.

Lornah Kipsang, the Elgeyo Marakwet culture chief executive said parents are subjecting their daughters to the cut.

“Farms with maize are an indicator that there is plenty of food to feed the initiates. Parents are in now rounding up their girls for circumcision," she said.