The war against Female Genital Mutilation in Isiolo County has received a welcome boost following a decision by a group of 20 men to support the cause.
The group from Merti, Garbatula and Isiolo Central sub counties have vowed to take the lead role in efforts to end the age-old practice by the year 2022 as earlier directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Under the umbrella of MenEndFgm Foundation the 20 groups have gone through a two day training to sensitize them on Anti FGM.
The men are now expected to hit the ground running by reaching out to fellow men who are decision makers in the African family setup, a campaign that is being supported by the Anti FGM Board and the County government through the office of the first lady.
According to Tony Mwebia, founder of the MenEndFgm foundation, the move is viewed as a very significant step towards eradication of the practice, since men who make crucial decisions within the family and who are also ‘the consumers’ have not been actively informed and engaged in previous campaigns.
Some men especially within the pastoralist communities therefore demand that girls go through the practice before they marry them, oblivious of the dangers paused by the tradition.
This is however set to come to an end, now that Men have actively joined the fight against FGM, volunteering to reach out to fellow men in all parts of the county.
Joseline Mwangi, a member of the AntiFGM Board said that Men are at the very centre of the tradition, adding that the practice will only come to an end if and when Men decide that they do not want it to continue.
She said that it is women who cut young girls, but it is usually done in the interest of men, and with blessings from men.
Sheikh Ahmed Set, chairman of Isiolo Interfaith Network and Bishop Stephen Kalunyu who is the Secretary to the Interfaith Network noted that the practice does not have any roots within teachings of both Islam and Christianity; therefore people should not hide behind religion while perpetrating the vice.