Wajir Woman Representative Fatuma Gedi has opened up about her past experience in Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Testifying about a national policy to eradicate FGM, Fatuma Gedi stated that she is a victim of that barbaric act and want it declared a national disaster.
“I am a victim. We must not shy away from it. It is not a good thing. We must call Female Genital Mutilation a national disaster.”
She said most divorces are from areas where the illegal practice is rampant. The lawmaker said most most men prefer to marry girls who are not mutilated and thus can experience and share sexual pleasure.
“Yes, there’s a lot of divorce where FGM is practiced. Many women have gone for surgery [to mitigate the mutilation] because they want pleasure.”
MPs called for toughening penalties against FGM offenders. The practice as well as abetting it and shaming ‘uncut’ girls and women are already illegal.
They called for criminalisation of the act during debate on the sessional paper on the National Policy for the Eradication of Female Genital Mutilation.
The practice is entrenched in some communities to deny women pleasure and ensure they are chaste.
Baringo Women Representative Gladwell Cheruiyot told male colleagues to say publicly “which tastes better between those who have undergone the cut and those who have not”. This information will help girls make a choice,” she said.
“We are told if you are cut then you lose [the nerve sensation] network. We need these men to tell us which is which between those who have undergone the cut or not,” Cheruiyot said.
Mavoko MP Patrick Mukau said most men from areas where FGM is practiced are keeping mpango wa kando (side chicks) for sexual satisfaction.
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“When you mutilate this organ, that which is mutilated is not well lubricated to the game. Those who want girls to be mutilated are the same people who go for mpango wa kando,” Makau said.
Kathiani lawmaker Robert Mbui described the act as barbaric and called for stiffer penalties.
“Leaders are scared of losing votes and ready to sacrifice their women. Leaders need to bite the bullet and ensure they fight this vice to the last man. We need to ensure that civic education is carried out,” Mbui said.
He added, “There must be very serious and harsh penalties for the offenders.”
Narok MP Roselinda Soipan said the practice has caused serious health and birth complications for thousands of girls and women He called on the government to walk the talk and end the mutilation.
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