Girls as young as nine years old were threatened with death if they tried to escape the Kamunera location, where they awaited female genitalia mutilation in Mt. Elgon District in Kenya. Many girls have been forced to cut short their studies and married off at a young age while some of them are still in hiding because their parents would disown them after running away to avoid circumcision. Over 100 girls were targeted for circumcision in December in this region but were rescued by Maendeleo Y Wanawake officials. Parents and grand parents in this area tell the young girls they will never get married and no man would want them if they don’t do the procedure. Not many women in this region are left to peruse education beyond the standard age of 8 years old. Young Woman are told that education was not meant for women because they were suppose to get married and take care of their husbands. Uncircumcised women generally get looked down upon and discriminated against for not doing the genitalia mutilation. Because of this young girls agree to go through with the surgery so that they can be included in the rites of passage so that their community will accept them.
“Kenyan Parents disown their children for fleeing female circumcision,” Erick Ngobilo, Daily Nation, February 6 2011.
Student Researcher: Nzinga Dotson-Newman, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: Matthew Paolucci, Sonoma State University