Male Champions Training Session in Kajiado
As cases of Female Genital Mutilation(FGM) rise amid the coronavirus lockdown, girls in Kajiado County are being abused and exploited. The Coronavirus pandemic has significantly affected the progress we’ve made as a country in ending harmful cultural practices, lowering girls’ educational opportunities and gender equality.
However, the fight against these harmful practices has received a major boost after Men End FGM Foundation provided training to a group of more than 60 men who will spearhead efforts to end the retrogressive practice and reaffirm the presidential directive to end FGM by 2022.
Male Champions Training session.
The Anti-FGM Board, UNFPA and World Vision collaborated with Men End FGM on a six-day training to prepare the group to reach out to other decision-makers and influential men in their villages.
“FGM is performed on women, but for men.”
As a result, any agreement on change must include men. Traditionally, it has been assumed that men’s dominance and control of women has perpetuated the practice. However, we learned from our interactions with men in the Kisapuk and Noosikitok locations in Kajiado that many men want the practice to end, though this is hampered by a lack of communication between women and men about the practice.
Read the stories of the trained #MenEndFGM champions in Kajiado County, and learn why it’s critical to include men, not just as allies, but also as key partners in the fight against FGM.
Pastor Isaiah Nasali expressed his gratitude for the training.“When I speak about these harmful practices in church as a pastor, people leave the building. Thankfully, the people have been educated as a result of this training. Let us discuss it and put an end to this harmful practice.
We are aware that some traditions have existed for hundreds of years but are now considered unacceptable. Consider the practice of ear piercing among the men in our Maasai community for example, it is no longer done to the current generation.
We must begin with this and raise awareness! As a pastor, I wish I hadn’t pierced my ears. I have learned about the irreversible effects of FGM from the training. We usually blame women for the practice’s prevalence, but we have learned from the training that we have the power to influence decisions and play a role in its prevention, starting with our families.”
Training Of the Male Session.
Alice K. Kibori, a survivor who attended the training stated that men’s participation was critical in preventing their daughters from being cut. “I praise God for this training because we have been both vindicated and blamed for the prevalence of FGM as women. However, because men are the heads of households and nothing happens without their knowledge, I believe that this training will empower men to make informed decisions for their daughters and families, putting an end to FGM and other harmful practices.”
Male Champions Training
Nicodemus had no knowledge of the consequences of FGM. “As a teacher, I used to support female genital mutilation (FGM) because it was ingrained in our culture; however, after receiving this training by Men End FGM Foundation, I learned that it is not only illegal, but also has negative consequences for girls and women. I will speak out against the practice in my family and at the school where I teach as a male champion.”
Oletumuke Community Training Session.
Men’s willingness to participate in the prevention of FGM has been shown to be positively influenced by increased awareness of the complications of FGM. Men and boys, as Nicodemus and Alice have indicated, are crucial change champions. The cost of inaction continues to rise. Men and Boys must be involved if FGM is to be eradicated.