An Investigation of Coping Strategies for Managing Effects of Female Genital Mutilation by the Girl Child among the Ameru Community in Kenya

Susan Muthoni Kinyua


Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is an old cultural practice which acts as a rite of passage from childhood to adulthood among the Ameru community of Kenya who still perpetuate the practice despite the ban by the Government of Kenya and the Njuri Ncheke (Supreme Council of Ameru Elders). It is documented that the physical, psychological and social effects of FGM cause distressing pain and suffering warranting the need for coping strategies for use by the female initiates. The purpose of this study was to investigate the post FGM effects’ coping strategies employed by the girl child among the Ameru community in Kenya. The study employed descriptive survey research design. The target population was 300,176 girls from both Meru County and Tharaka-Nithi County in Kenya where FGM is prevalent. The accessible population was 137,044 girls from whom a total of 489 respondents participated in the study. This comprised of 408 girls who had undergone FGM, three social workers, 48 health workers and 30 Focus Group Discussion members. Snowball sampling and purposive sampling methods were used to obtain the study sample. Data was collected using questionnaires, interview guides and Focus Group Discussion schedules. The validity of the instruments was confirmed by University supervisors and other research experts while reliability was tested by use of Cronbach coefficient alpha. Descriptive statistics including frequencies, percentages were used to analyze the data. The research findings indicated that the Ameru girl child frequently utilized counselling services, social support, medical attention as well as education and training to manage the effects of FGM. It was recommended that these coping strategies be strengthened and access improved among the Ameru girl child who have undergone FGM.

Key words: Coping strategies, Female Genital Mutilation, Girl child.

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

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