Like many countries, FGM is very much encouraged in the Pokot culture especially in the west and south Pokot where educational facilities are still lacking.
FGM is often considered a necessary part of raising a girl properly and away to prepare her for adulthood and marriage. FGM is often motivated by beliefs by people about what is considered proper sexual behavior linking procedures to pre-marital virginity and mental fidelity. FGM is practiced in many communities that believe it helps reduce her libido and therefore believed to help her resist illicit or pre mature sexual acts. FGM is associated with cultural ideals of feminity and modesty includes the nation that girls are “clean” and “beautiful” after removal of body parts that are considered unclean.Whatever the reasons might be finding shows that it is Pokot men who promote the FGM practices. The women are subject to the men and are always taught to be submissive to them, and passive ,but who really cares when the culture and norm is so oppressive, always seeking to malign and minimize the women.
Research shows that training and empowering women on the negative aspects of FGM without directly attacking the relevant community has a positive income. The empowered woman will try and educate the community on the negative aspects of FGM. However the best strategy is to help disciple women, teaching them the word of God and teaching them about God’s plan for their lives. The community should understand that God created them in his own image and therefore all of us are beautiful the way we are and therefore don’t need any modification. In the last 2-3 years. YW AM Athi River and WMK volunteers and staff have been working closely with the Pokot women, trying to understand more about their struggles and the positive zeal in the midst of all their challenges. God has put forth an “open door” in the women. The team discovered how graciously God has planted the desire and determination for change in their hearts of women, maybe because they are the first hand victims of the oppressive culture. Many women who have gone through the vice harbor the zeal to be agents of change in the community. The only thing needed is proper training and empowerment to equip them with the necessary knowledge information and resources to help build their capacity as change agents.
Trained women will always be motivated to end the procedure in their community so that their daughters and other young girls will not have to go through the pain and violation as they did. In addition to persuading the community to put an end to FGM the women go further and become pro-active, together as one, they will go to the lady that will be performing the Circumcision and come up with a plan to help the girl. The trained women will also work with the government and other stakeholders to help stop the vice completely and ultimately save the Pokot girl child. Such a girl will finish her schooling, get a job and also help educate many other women and the community at large about the dangers of FGM. The FGM culture is a sensitive issue in Pokot. WMK doesn’t want to be seen as if it is pushing its own agenda and forcing change. We know the results that might come out of such effort, and therefore seek more guidance from the community leaders. We trust God that our own contribution will help, and that the community will begin to embrace our initiative.