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Survivors and their allies: Youth leading the fight against FGM in Kenya’s hotspot counties

ISIOLO/MARSABIT, Kenya - The race to end female genital mutilation (FGM)  is on, in Kenya, following a commitment by President Uhuru Kenyatta to eliminate FGM in the country by the year 2022. Young survivors and anti-FGM advocates from two of Kenya’s FGM hotspots are leading the charge against this harmful practice, using their personal experiences and knowledge of local culture to change their communities’ attitudes towards the cut.

 

It is estimated that 4 million girls and women in Kenya have experienced FGM, with 21 percent of girls and women aged 15 to 49 years having undergone the practice. UNFPA has worked with the youth in Kenya including those from the 22 hotspot counties with a high prevalence of female genital mutilation to create awareness in their communities on the harmful effects of FGM, and to advocate for alternative rites of passage.

 

For survivors like 26-year-old Aisha Hussein from Isiolo county, a firsthand experience of the impact of FGM on her health turned her into a determined anti-FGM crusader and advocate for women and girls rights.