As Kenya joins the world in marking the International Day of Zero
Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has asked National Administration Officers (NGAOs) to work with counties and the community to end the harmful and retrogressive practices such as child ‘marriages’, which are denying girls education.
The Deputy President said women are critical to socio-economic
development, but they can only do so with quality education.
Speaking at Isiolo Girls High School during a fundsdrive for infrastructural development of the institution over the weekend, he said education is one of the ways of collectively alleviating the society for men and women contribute equally to the growth of the nation.
“We cannot allow the dreams of our girls to be subjected to practices that snatch them the passport to a bright future. The Kenya of today and the future is for all- girls and boys, men and women. I ask the National Government Administration Officers to work with the County Government of Isiolo and indeed across the country, to end these retrogressive practices,” Gachagua said.
The Deputy President said FGM exposes girls to child ‘marriages’ as they are perceived to be ready to family life despite the tender age.
“FGM is a false transition that denies girls the opportunity to enjoy childhood as they start a prolonged miserable adult life, which they are not ready for. They are ready for school, not marriage. Girls are children, not mothers. They must be in school,” he said.
According to research, education reduces FGM in girls by up to 89%. Secondary education, reduces teenage pregnancy from 38% to about 5%.
Gachagua expressed concern that despite interventions of ending FGM by 2022, more than 65% of girls between 15-49 years in Isiolo County have undergone the cut. This is against a national average of 15% as of2021.
This national data is a drop from 37.6% in 1998, with pastoral
communities showing slower rates of abandoning the practice.’
He said Kenya remains committed to meeting the international target of ending the practice before 2030 and expanding education opportunities for girls is one of the strategies.
“The Ruto Administration is deliberate in investing in quality Education for all, across the country. It is for this reason that we committed over 628.6 Billion Shillings to the Ministry of Education to, among other issues, support full implementation of the Competency Based Curriculum and other Education Sector Reforms,” he said.
Isiolo County Woman Rep Mumina Bonaya, an alumnus of the school, said the institution is a safe space for the girl child, hence the need to expand its infrastructure to serve the region better.
Gachagua delivered a financial contribution of the Government, that of President William Ruto, besides his own. He promised more funds for the school in the next financial year to give it a national look.
He was accompanied by Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, Principal Secretaries Mohamed Liban (Petroleum) and Kello Harsama (ASALs and Regional Development), Isiolo Governor Abdi Hassan, Woman Representatives Faith Gitau (Nyandarua), Liz Chelule (Nakuru), Jane Kagiri (Laikipia), Monicah Marabu
(Lamu) and Pauline Lengoris (Samburu). Senator Chute Mohamed
(Marsabit) and MPs Joseph Samal (Isiolo North), Prof Guyo Waqo (Moyale), Geoffrey Ruku (Mbeere North), Abraham Kirwa (Mosop), Mburu Kahangara (Lari), Ali Laso (Saku), MCAs, the School Management, among others, were