Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is illegal in Kenya. The practice has declined slightly, yet it is nearly universal among the Abagusii, a relatively affluent ethnic group residing in the Nyanza province in western Kenya. Half of cut women reported that they had been cut by a health worker, however providers express willingness to advocate against the practice. This study, launched in 2004 by the Population Council’s FRONTIERS Program, examined the role of health providers in FGM/C in Kenya’s Abagusii community. As noted in this brief, the objectives were to understand the motivations behind the medicalization of FGM/C and determine the feasibility of using health personnel to communicate messages encouraging abandonment. Efforts to encourage abandonment require clarification and enforcement of existing laws, training for health providers to increase their understanding of the human rights and health consequences of the practice, and addressing the financial motivation for medicalized cutting.
"Kenya: Mobilize health care providers to advocate against FGM/C," FRONTIERS OR Summary no. 60. Washington, DC: Population Council, 2007.
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