Factors Influencing The Practice Of Female Genital Mutilation In Kenya: A Case Study Of Gachuba Division, Nyamira Countys
The study sought to examine the persistence of FGM among the Kisii. The study was guided by four specific objectives: To find out the justification for the persistence of FGM among the Kisii community; to establish the efforts towards eliminating the practice of FGM among the Kisii; to investigate the issues and challenges facing the practice of FGM among the Kisii and To find out peoples knowledge of the law concerning FGM. The study was also premised on the social exchange theory, structuralfunctionalist approach and the feminist theory. The study adopted the descriptive research design. The study adopted the cluster and purposive sampling techniques to identify the respondents for the study. The researcher adopted both qualitative and quantitative approaches to data collection which included questionnaires, key informant interviews and the focus Group Discussions. The study revealed that all the female respondents involved in the data collection process through the survey had undergone FGM. In the sample 74.2 percent had circumcised their daughters whereas 25.8 percent had not. The study found that most of the respondents had indeed had undertaken their daughters through FGM. The persistence of FGM was attributed to traditional / cultural beliefs. The study found that 76.2 percent of respondents had undergone FGM willingly compared to 23.8 percent who were forced. This was enhanced through socialization within the community that reinforces the stereotypes against uncircumcised girls or women and thus a girl will choose to undergo the process so as to avoid mocking from the community and their peers. In regard to the effect of FGM the study found that 51.5 percent indicated excessive bleeding, 2.0 percent were obstructed labour, and 7.9 percent were sexual complications and 38.6 percent. Anti – FGM campaigns were the major source of information on FGM as indicated by 48.5 percent, health centers were 5.0 percent, radio announcements were 1.0 percent and personal experience was 45.5 percent. The study found that government agencies were the most popular facilitators of FGM as cited among 38.6 percent of the sample, non – governmental organizations were 6.9 percent, religious organizations were 46.5 percent, women groups were 4.0 percent, radio broadcasts were 2.0 percent and community based organizations (CBOs) were 1.0 percent. Findings indicate there is a high level of awareness on the law concerning the practice of FGM as espoused by Figure 13 which depicts that 91.1 percent of respondents v answered yes, 5.0 percent said no, 2.0 indicated don’t know. Among the respondents 61.4 percent indicated they knew of the Anti – FGM law, 29.7 percent were Children’s Act of 2001, 2.0 percent were the Kenya Constitution 2010. The study recommends for emphasis on awareness on the dangers associated with FGM which should be integrated into the education of the girl child; a multi-sectoral approach to eradication of FGM through coordinated efforts from the government agencies, non-governmental organisations, community based organisations on the fight against FGM; empowerment of community groups in the fight against FGM and emphasis on sensitization among medical practitioners who are involved in FGM practice.