KENYA: Kenya Records Drop in Female Cut Cases

Kenya has recorded a big drop in cases of female circumcision in the last eight years from a prevalence of 50 per cent in 1999 to the current 34 per cent.

A workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, organised by the Inter-African Committee on harmful traditional practices affecting the health of girls and women as a whole, noted that female genital mutilation (FGM) was a major setback to development.

The executive director of EGLDAM, Mr Abebe Kabede, said Cameroon was the only country in Africa that had virtually wiped out the tradition. The prevalence is now one per cent, down from 20 per cent in 1999. 

(EGLDAM is an abbreviation of the National Committee on Harmful Traditional Practices in Ethiopia). 

Egypt and Guinea have 96 per cent prevalence each, while Mali, Sudan, Eritrea, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia have 92, 90, 89, 77 and 74 prevalence, respectively. Somalis practise the most severe cut, classified as Type III.

Human rights

Regional High Commission on Human Rights advisor Patrice Vahard called on African countries to use media to fight against female circumcision, noting that the practice was least noted in countries with a vibrant media. 

Elsewhere, it emerged that child abuse and neglect was rampant at the Coast. 

Kilifi district commissioner Muthama Wambua said that by virtue of the region being a tourist destination, many parents had left their children to fend for themselves from a tender age.

He was opening the Child Protection Workshop for police officers from Kilifi District on Wednesday. 

The workshop was organised by Plan International at Titanic Hotel in Kilifi Town.

“In Kilifi District, you will agree with me that abuse and neglect are on the increase. Parents spend time drinking palm wine and leave their children to take care of themselves,” he said.

Mr Wambua said many consumers of palm wine ended up abusing children at home, adding that others sent their children to look for money from tourists because of poverty. 

He said Kilifi and Malindi districts had been in the media over child labour and neglect, early marriages, early pregnancies both in and out of schools, child prostitution and child trafficking in the recent years.

“This region is home to children trafficking in from up-country to engage in sex tourism,” he said.

SOURCE: Daily Nation

AUTHOR: Peter Ng'etich and Walker Mwandoto

URL: Click here

DATE: 21/11/2007


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