An Analysis of Capacities for the Practice of Female Circumcision among the Embu, Kisii and Somali Communities in Kenya

Nungari Salim


The aim of this paper is to identify and discuss the capacities available for communities that still practice female circumcision can be persuaded to stop the rite of passage. This is based on a comparative study of female circumcision (FC) among the Embu, Kisii and Somali societies of Kenya. The study was both exploratory and explanatory in nature. The study adopted both quantitative and qualitative approaches for data collection. Comparative data was collected from women and men in three Districts, i.e. among the Kisii, the Aembu and Somali of Kenya. A total sample of 369 women was selected through purposive sampling. To complement the survey data, Focus Group Discussions (FGDS), in-depth interviews and case studies were also conducted. The study established that individuals become defensive when they feel their culture and personal identities are under attack. The fear of losing the psychological, moral and material benefits of "belonging" is one of the greatest motivators of conformity with the practice of FC. Arising from these findings, it is recommended that in order to promote balanced development in the embracing policy all country, an integrated and all embracing policy approach to the abandonment of the practice of FC should be incorporated into mainstream government work. Further, there is need for research on the existing legal, policy and institutional frameworks related to the abandonment of the practice of the female circumcision. There is also a need for broad-based education on FC, including issues of women's human rights.

Keywords: Analysis, Capacities, Communities, Persuaded, Abandon, Practice, Female Circumcision, Kenya

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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