Dr Tatu Kamau in court, seeks to have FGM legalized


Dr Tatu Kamau PHOTO| COURTESY
Dr Tatu Kamau PHOTO| COURTESY

A three-judge bench has begun hearing a case by Dr Tatu Kamau, a medical doctor who is seeking to have Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) legalized.

Dr Kamau also wants the anti-FGM board, the body tasked with the responsibility to effect the campaign against the practice, disbanded.

A declaration that the second respondents purportedly established by this act is illegal as it was created without the authority of the law,” she argues in her application.

The medical doctor further wants an order that declares the prohibition of FGM unconstitutional.

Dr Kamau argues that prohibiting FGM infringes on an individual’s freedom of choice and prevents people from practicing their cultures.

She argues that banning FGM effectively imposes the Western culture on Kenyans.

Other respondents in the case are the Attorney General; listed as the first respondent and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP); listed as the third respondent.

Advocacy groups opposing the application have also been enjoined in the case: the Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA), Kenya Women Parliamentary Association, National Gender and Equality Commission and Katiba Sasa.

Justice David Kemei at the Machakos Law Courts who was hearing the application referred it to the Chief Justice noting that it has generated public interest.

The Female Genital Mutilation Act was passed in 2011 to protect people from harm by means of this practice.

Currently, anyone found guilty of FGM could serve a sentence of not less than three years or pay a fine of Ksh. 200,000.

Despite this, it continues to be prevalent in some parts of the country.

Dr Kamau went to court for the first time in January 2018 citing infringement on women rights.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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