Tharaka Nithi County launches a robust Anti-FGM Policy to end FGM at the community level

By Lydia Gichuki

County Government of Tharaka Nithi in collaboration with Plan international and the Government of Kenya has developed and launched a robust anti-FGM policy designed to end Female Genital Mutilation at the community level.

The policy which was adopted by the Tharaka Nithi County Assembly in May 2021 will allow the County Government to allocate funds to facilitate the fight against FGM. 

According to a 2017 report by UNICEF, 71 percent of women aged 15-49 years in Tharaka Nithi County had experienced some form of FGM. Additionally, Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS) 2010, showed that 58 percent of girls aged 7 and 17 years and 95 percent of women over 50 years have undergone FGM. The prevalence is one of the highest in Kenya compared to the national average of 21 percent.

The policy is firmly grounded on the principles of gender equality, inclusivity, and non-discrimination.  It provides legal framework required to fast track the eradication of FGM at the County level by creating decentralized governance structures that will be coordinated from the ward level to the County level.

It is geared towards creating awareness to the community aimed at accelerating abandonment of FGM and to ensure survivors of FGM and child marriage receive necessary medical treatment and psychosocial support.

Additionally, it aims at strengthening the existing multi-sectoral coordination, collaboration, partnerships and networking for eradication of FGM, to address gender inequality associated with FGM by promoting empowerment of girls and women and to promote community dialogues in the campaign against FGM.

Further, the policy will set up a robust data, information and knowledge management system to aid in research, analysis and reporting of emerging dynamics of FGM. Also it will help in ensuring survivors of FGM and child marriage are assisted to access justice.

To boot, the policy will see the formation of the Ward Anti-FGM Policy committees to spearhead the fight from the village level

It has been developed by the County Government of Tharaka Nithi’s Department of Education, Youth, Culture, Sports and Tourism, in Partnership with Plan International and Government of Kenya.

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