‘FGM is our heritage,’ says doctor who wants act legalised


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

A doctor has moved to court seeking to have the Female Genital Mutilation Act repealed arguing that it infringes on the rights of adult women who want to participate in a cultural practice.

Dr. Tatu Kamau filed a petition at the Machakos Law Courts arguing that it is discriminatory to allow only men undergo circumcision.

“The FGM Act which outlaws female circumcision is outrightly infringing on the women rights to perform their respective cultures and particularly adult women who are capable of giving consent,” she argues.

Dr. Kamau believes that in enacting the FGM Act the rights of adult women from communities which value and practice FGM will be violated.

The petitioner argues that each community has the liberty to practice any culture that is native and relevant to that society; “without the imperialist imposition from another culture that holds a different set of beliefs and/or norms.”

“Female circumcision is part of our National Heritage and history attests to the fact that women from circumcising communities have been as biologically functional and productive as women from non-circumcising communities,” she avers.

The Female Genital Mutilation Act, which was passed in 2011, was meant to prohibit the practice of FGM in a bid to safeguard against violation of a person’s mental or physical integrity through the practice of female genital mutilation.

A person who violates the Act is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term of not less than three years, or to a fine of not less than Ksh.200,000.

Despite government efforts to stem the practice, some communities still carry out the cut with many cases of death as a result of FGM being reported.

 

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Story By Enock Muswii
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