In many cultures, female genital mutilation (FGM)—also known as cutting—symbolizes the transition from girlhood to womanhood and is a valued traditional practice done on girls as young as 10 years old. It has devastating physical and psychological effects on girls. If you’ve seen World Vision’s award-winning film, Messania’s Story, you saw a first-hand account of the impact it can have on a woman’s life.
An estimated 200 million women and girls alive today have been subjected to FGM. In Kenya, FGM is a direct precursor to child marriage. Often, girls aren’t considered eligible for marriage until they’ve been cut, and families see marriage as a source of income. A bride price paid to parents by a girl’s husband can mean a great deal to a family in extreme poverty. Although significant progress has been made toward ending child marriage globally, about 650 million of the world’s girls and women were married before their 18th birthday.
Why is this work needed?
Through years of Child Protection work in West Pokot, Kenya, we’ve learned what works to end this harmful practice.
“In 1999, the prevalence rate of FGM was over 95% in Chepareria area of West Pokot. Today, it’s less than 10%.” Moses Chepkonga, Program Manager Kenya Big Dream
We’ve learned that a multi-sector approach is what is most successful to eradicate early forced marriage and FGM. It takes:
Your gift can provide the help and support needed to end the harmful practice of FGM and bring fullness of life to young girls in Kenya.
“I’ve witnessed transformed lives through changing culture . . . World Vision has been doing this in West Pokot, Kenya for 10 years.” —Margo Day, Retired VP of Education, Microsoft – World Vision National Leadership Council member
“I’ve seen firsthand that when young women’s lives are transformed, they in turn become powerful agents of change in their communities.” —Suzanne Broetje, World Vision Partner Executive Director, Vista Hermosa Foundation