FGM has been illegal in Kenya since 2001 and the government are increasingly taking action to enforce this law. However, 27% of girls and women are still affected by FGM as communities in certain areas continue the practice which is seen as a rite of passage into womanhood.
Child marriage is also illegal in Kenya where you cannot marry before 18, or at the age of 16 with parents’ consent. Nonetheless over a quarter of girls are married by the age of 18.
Sinyati Women’s Group
Sinyati Women’s Group is an organisation from the indigenous Maasai tribe working to empower women, promote the education of girls, advocate against FGM and child marriage and reduce poverty in their community. We have been supporting Sinyati Women’s Group with their mission since 2012 by sharing our knowledge on approaching communities to change attitudes towards FGM and child marriage. We funded technical support and training for women to advocate against FGM and child marriage in their schools and villages and we provided financial support for resources such as motorbikes to enable them to further their reach and create links with more communities.
Sinyati has been working to end FGM and child marriage more widely in Kenya by visiting villages and holding learning sessions and discussions with women, policy makers, and health officials about the consequences of FGM. They also engage with government officials by discussing how to inform laws and policies to protect girls and women from FGM.
Prevalence of FGM: 27% of girls and women have undergone FGM in Kenya (UNICEF 2013)
Campaign against FGM: 59% of women who have been cut see no benefit (UNICEF 2013)
86% of girls and women want the practice to end (UNICEF 2013)
Legal Status of FGM: Illegal since 2001
Terms used: Kutairi or Kutari wa shichana
Prevalence of child marriage: 6% of girls in Kenya are married by the age of 15 and 26% are married by the age of 18 (UNICEF 2014)
Legal Status of CM: It is illegal to marry under the age of 18
Maternal mortality rate: 400 per 100,000 live births (WHO 2013)
Gender Inequality Index: 147 of 187 countries (UNDP 2013)