Some Gender Based Violence acts are perpetuated by Harmful Traditional Practices (HTP). Harmful traditional practices like Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) , early and forced marriage are still being practiced by several communities in Africa and across the world. These backward and barbaric practices are perpetuated under the notion of preserving culture. HTPs are deeply rooted in the social, political, and economic structures of these communities. Several girls and women from such communities have undergone a lot of physical and emotional pain as well as watched tradition wash away their dreams and ambitions. Sadly, in as much as these practices are attributed to the patriarchal norms of the African culture, Both men and women take part in the practice. For instance, the cut is majorly carried by women. According to UN over 200 million women have undergone FGM globally.
The beliefs are highly upheld such that some girls are made to believe they will be inferior women if they do not undergo the cut. Some would rather go through the cut than face a lifetime of rejection and stigma. HTPs like FGM and early forced marriages have immense after-effects that negatively impact the lives of the girls and women that go through them. These practices control the sexuality of the girls and women for instance. There is a lot of abuse of power in the early forced marriages mostly due to the age gaps and other misconceptions like naturally men should batter their wives to establish dominance.
FGM has a lot of health risks:Hemorrhage, life threatening infections like fistula and HIV, complicated childbirths, problematic pregnancies, increased risk of still births, loss of sexual desire, psychological trauma, and death. FGM just like all other harmful traditional practices is a violation of human rights. The FGM Act 2011 requires under Article 27 that necessary measures be taken by the Government of Kenya to (a) protect women and girls from FGM, (b) provide support services to victims of FGM and (c) undertake public education and sensitize the people of Kenya on the dangers and adverse effects of FGM. Let’s stand up and fight Harmful Traditional Practices that undermine human rights! We all play a role, speak out Today! Don’t just be a witness
written by Kibagendi jairus