International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research
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The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2011 of Kenya: Challenges Facing its Implementation in Kajiado Central Sub-County, Kenya

Volume 10, Issue 1, October 2014, Pages 40–49

 The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2011 of Kenya: Challenges Facing its Implementation in Kajiado Central Sub-County, Kenya

Geofrey Towett, Peter Gutwa Oino, and Audrey Matere

Original language: English

Received 11 August 2014

Copyright © 2014 ISSR Journals. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Female Genital Mutilation/Cut (FGM/C) has been a common practice in both developed and in developing countries like Kenya. Kajiado County in Kenya is one of the areas where the practice is highly practiced with girls of below 13 years undergoing through the 'cut'. This practice is however, a criminal offence as outlined in Female Genital Mutilation Act of 2011, though it continues to thrive in various parts of the country such as in Narok, Migori, Kisii, and to a larger extent Kajiado County. This paper is an outcome of a study that was conducted in Kajiado Central Sub-County in Kenya and examined the challenges facing effective implementation of FGM Act of 2011. The focus on Kajiado Central Sub-County was based on the fact that the county as a whole is largely inhabited by the Maasai community whose FGM/C practice according to the Kenya Demographic and Health Surveys (KDHS) stands at 93 percent. The research on which this paper was drawn adopted a cross sectional research design that employed various methods of data collection. Data was collected by use of research instruments such as semi-structured interview schedule and interview guide for Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with traditional circumcisers, manyatta elders, traditional religious leaders, public health officers, public administrative officers and sampled men and women with at least five children in the study area. The study found that despite the practice of FGM/C being criminalized with hefty penalties in Kenya, the practice is still widespread in Kajiado County. The findings of the study revealed that the implementation of FGM Act 2011 in Kajiado County has been constrained by a number of factors such as deeply ingrained culture and traditional practices, ignorance of the legislation and the consequences of FGM/C, ingrained traditional religious beliefs and superstition, reluctance by law enforcement officers in implementing the Act, as well as high poverty levels in the Sub-County. Based on the findings of the study, this paper recommends that efforts to eliminate FGM/C should not only be backed up by strictly enforcing legislative provisions by the county and national governments, but also incorporating both old women and men who are the custodians of culture. At the same time, the stakeholders should initiate advocacy and education programmes to help change the culture holders' mind sets, for instance, through the local mass media. Additionally, there is need to initiate alternative sources of income for traditional circumcisers who depend on the practice as a source of livelihood. Finally, school curriculum at all levels of education should incorporate themes such as female genital mutilation/cut and its effects on the life of a girl child and women.

Author Keywords: Female Genital Mutilation/Cut, Circumcision, FGM/C ACT 2011, Kenya.

How to Cite this Article

Geofrey Towett, Peter Gutwa Oino, and Audrey Matere, “The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2011 of Kenya: Challenges Facing its Implementation in Kajiado Central Sub-County, Kenya,” International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 40–49, October 2014.