Document Type

Case Study

Publication Date



This research was undertaken by the Population Council to better understand female genital mutilation (FGM) as currently practiced by the Kuria and Kisii communities in Kenya. The study investigated current attitudes and practices in relation to FGM, awareness and attitudes toward the alternative rite of passage (ARP), and factors which encourage individuals to make decisions to abandon FGM. The findings show that FGM is still a celebrated public event among the Kuria, whereas in Kisii, it is a private family affair. The study suggests that the success of ARP as an approach to abandoning FGM is strongly dependent on the concept being understood and accepted locally, particularly by decisionmakers including parents, the Council of Elders (in Kuria), church, school, and community leaders. As such, ARP needs to be fully explained and embedded in community education and girl empowerment programs which cover the health risks, explain the violation of the rights of girls and women, and also challenge the myths and assumptions around FGM.






A Research Agenda to End Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) in a Generation