Covid-19: Concern over rising FGM cases, teen pregnancies among school going children

Written By: Nicholas Kigondu/Stanley Ngotho

22 women arrested in Kericho as Govt. intensifies war on FGM

Stakeholders in the fight against female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriages have raised concern over increased cases in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Parents attending a sensitization forum on teenage sex, drug abuse and FGM held in Loitoktok, Kajiado County, said more girls in the area may not report to schools in January as they are heavily pregnant.

The dejected parents said since the School calendar was interrupted by Covid-19 pandemic early in the year, more school going girls have found themselves in the dragnet of pedophiles, incest, FGM with gender-based violence cases on the rise.

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For many girls, school was a safety net from forced marriages, female circumcision, and rape.

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Participants noted that retrogressive cultural practices including FGM were slowly creeping back though discretely despite the government stringent measures to curb the vice. Young boys were also said to be engaging in alcohol and drug abuse pushing a majority of them out of school.

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During the session, girls who were attending the training were issued sanitary towels and other personal effects from well-wishers. With the school closures, many girls have become desperate for ways to get access to essential items.

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The participants urged both the national and county government to come up with youth sensitization programs against FGM, early marriage and drugs abuse to save a generation that is threatened by societal vices.

The call coming amid worrying statistics of young people engaging in vices that could prove counterproductive as the current coronavirus pandemic stretches its arms across the globe.



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