The right to education is a key principal underpinning the Education for Sustainable Goal (SDG4). The practice of FGM/C and child marriages still exists, thus infringing on the girl child’s right to education. Transition from primary to secondary is a major milestone for the youth and it requires in addition to academic achievements, sound socio emotional status. Various studies conducted to establish factors, which influence participation and retention of girls in schools, have identified harmful cultural practices as one of the main reasons for school drop outs, child marriages. A study was commissioned by KNATCOM in the year 2019 to investigate the Effects of Female Genital Mutilation and Circumcision on the Transition of Girls to Secondary School in Narok and Kajiado Counties focusing on the nature and status of the practice, its effects, school transition and interventions/ recommendations.
Workshops were held on 25th and 27th February, 2020 with local stakeholders in Kajiado and Narok counties to disseminate the research findings on the impact of FGM/C and child marriage on girls transitioning from primary to secondary school education. This involved sensitizing key stakeholders and policy makers in these regions, discussions on interventions towards mitigation and prevention of FGM/C. Each day of the dissemination workshop began with a courtesy call to offices of the County Commissioner and the County Director of Education in Kajiado and Narok counties. In both instances, these government officials pointed out that FGM/C is still rampant in the two counties and there is need for a sustainable solution to the problem.
The findings were presented by highlighting the following: the nature and status of FGM/C; the patterns of FGM/C related to school transition; the triple nexus of FGM/C and its effects; FGM/C and schooling/dropout; non-FGM related factors and school transition. Further, proposed interventions to prevent FGM/C and mitigate its effects were discussed based on the following: enhancement of policy interventions and stakeholder coordination; social harmony and rehabilitation for victims of FGM/C and affected persons; and enhancement of community livelihoods and socio-economic well-being. The participants were later divided into groups to further come up with suggestions on sustainable interventions to prevent FGM/C. The issues raised during the group discussions were presented at the plenary and adopted as possible interventions.
Group discussion in Kajiado
Group discussion in Narok