UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, jointly with UNICEF, lead the largest global programme to accelerate the abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). In line with Zero Tolerance Day for FGM on 6 February 2017, UNFPA lead a mission to Kenya’s Narok County to document UNFPAâs active participation to encourage the abandonment of the practice. Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, involves altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It negatively impacts a girlâs psychological, emotional and physical well-being, education, health and gender equality rights, and is internationally recognized as a human rights violation. Maasai culture, often praised and used as a tourist attraction, encourages FGM which is views as the key to success in all aspects of life. Many Maasai families cannot afford to give their children formal schooling, so to protect their daughters from lives of poverty, they choose to marry them off at a young age. Because Maasai girls are traditionally considered children until they are circumcised, it is seen as imperative for a Maasai girl to undergo the circumcision rite before she is married making FGM a precursor to child marriage. This strongly ingrained cultural belief propels families to go to great lengths to complete the circumcision. Both FGM and child marriage negatively impact long-term poverty reduction and development outcomes. In collaboration with World Vision Kenya as an implementing partner UNFPA identify Narok County in Maasailand as one of eight targeted counties in Kenya where UNFPA-supported interventions are transforming and saving lives of women and girls in the county.
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