The influence of female genital mutilation on girl child participation in public primary schools in Wamba ward Samburu east sub-county, Samburu county, Kenya
This study aimed at establishing the influence of FGM on girl child participation in public primary schools in Wamba Ward Samburu East sub county of Samburu County. The specific objectives were to establish the influence of FGM on girls performance,absenteesim, dropout rate and early marriages. Literature relating to FGM, overview of FGM, theoretical context, influence of FGM on girl child participation, absence and performance in education, Laws and conventions on FGM and current campaigns on eradication of FGM was used in the study. In order to support the study, the researcher employed the Liberal Feminism theory which focuses on analyzing gender inequality and how girls miss opportunities through education. A detailed description of research design was used (survey), target population, sample size, frame and sampling procedure, reliability, validity, data collection, analysis techniques and ethical considerations of the study have been given in the project. Questionnaires, interview and direct observations by the researcher were used to collect data. The study involved 96 girls and 10 head teachers as the respondents who were obtained through the use of double simple random sampling. Questionnaire return rate was 96% which is acceptable. The data that was collected was analyzed using SPSS after coding of qualitative data and presented in the form of charts, tables, figures, and graphs. The study findings indicated that the girls within Wamba ward are poorly enrolled in primary schools, others drop at the above findings, the study also revealed that FGM has an influence on girls’ participation in education and that there is a difference in age of marriage between girls who have undergone FGM and those that have not .Further, absenteeism from school is caused by FGM as the pupils have to be in seclusion for a period of time to heal from the cut. In conclusion, it was found out that FGM is a major problem in the Wamba Ward as well as in other communities. This study concluded that because of FGM in Wamba ward, the girls are unable to participate actively in education due chronic absenteeism, dropping out, early marriage as well as having dismal academic performance. Parents were noted to have contributed immensely to FGM and its attendant effects. The study recommends that the government and Faith Based Organizations sensitize the community on the importance of girl child education, create more awareness on the dangers of FGM, provision of funds to the rescue centres, education fraternity to set up strong counseling units in schools as well as build more boarding schools in the County to curb the problem. The researcher suggests an investigation on the most appropriate alternative rites of passage for girls in Wamba Ward, other factors that hinder girl’s education in Wamba ward in Samburu County and the role of mass media as a source of information on the dangers of FGM in Kenya areas for further research in relation to FGM.