In Kenya, there has been a steady and marked decline in the prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) but there is great variance in the prevalence of FGM/C across the country, with prevalence remaining high among certain ethnic groups such as Somali, Samburu, Kisii, and the Maasai. The objectives of this study were: 1) to explore whether and how unprogrammed factors or programmed FGM/C interventions (alternative rites of passage, legal and policy measures, religious-oriented approaches, promotion of girls’ education, intergenerational dialogues, use of rescue centers, and other undocumented approaches) influence community values deliberation in Narok and Kisii counties; 2) to assess what changes in FGM/C norms and practices have occurred in Narok and Kisii counties, and identify factors motivating these changes; and 3) to identify barriers to FGM/C abandonment in these key “hot spots,” and assess how, in light of empirical findings and theoretical models of behavior, intervention efforts might be optimized and coordinated to accelerate abandonment. The study clearly shows that norms and practices of FGM/C are not static even in these study areas. While there might not be widespread abandonment yet, people are reassessing norms and traditions in light of the current social climate. These changes may provide a useful starting point for intervention programs that seek to create dialogue and critical reflection on the practice of FGM/C in an effort to accelerate its abandonment.
Matanda, Dennis, Chantalle Okondo, Caroline W. Kabiru, and Bettina Shell-Duncan. 2018. "Tracing change in female genital mutilation/cutting: Shifting norms and practices among communities in Narok and Kisii counties, Kenya," Evidence to End FGM/C: Research to Help Girls and Women Thrive. New York: Population Council.
Evidence to End FGM/C: Research to Help Girls and Women Thrive