Elected leaders from Samburu, Laikipia, Isiolo and Marsabit Counties have been hailed for embracing the ongoing efforts to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and the practice of beading girls for marriage.
The Executive Director, Samburu Women Trust, Jane Meriwas said leaders are appreciating the positive change being gained, concerning the two retrogressive cultural practices.
She said chiefs, the police and clergy, are giving her organization so much support towards elimination of the two vices which deprives the girl child some of her rights.
She noted beads are beautiful when worn around the neck, but unknown to many, some bead symbolizes bondage to young girls from Samburu, Maasai and Rendille communities who live in Samburu, Laikipia, Marsabit and Isiolo Counties.
“While some parents buy beads for their daughters, others wait for the community warriors (Morans) to give them, a gesture that announces the beginning of a relationship which is not supposed to end in a pregnancy’’ she noted.
She added that if a pregnancy occurs to the beaded girl, the child born is declared an outcast and may end up being killed.
Meriwas, said FGM and beading are behind the slow development and low education levels in the four counties.
“If beading and FGM is going to cease, it will be ended by women folk from the communities where the vices are practiced’’ she added.
She appealed to all women in the four counties to speak in one voice in the fight against the retrogressive practices.