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Women up in arms after the emergence of secret groups forcing female circumcision

Murang’a Women Council on Monday, July 5 petitioned the national and county governments to enhance security and protection of women following threats of traditional groups demanding them to undergo Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Led by Mercy Kimwe, a former Murang’a Municipality Mayor, the women now say that close cooperation between the two levels of governments will assist in taming the retrogressive behaviour that has undermined the integrity of young mothers.

Several meetings have been organised in Murang’a County, specifically in the areas of Gathige and Kandara, to sensitise the community against clitoridectomy. This comes after the rise in cases of women being forced to undergo the cut in the recent past.

The women, drawn from Murang’a, Kiambu and Laikipia Counties, also called on Chief Justice Martha Koome and Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Coordination Dr Fred Matingí to support the initiative in ensuring that such women are protected.

Kimwe appealed to women and girls to reach out to members of the Gema Council and report those threatening them.

“We shall have to confront the issues to ensure the dignity of women will not be undermined by rogue groups,” said Kimwe.

The public plea comes even as a woman in Kandara is nursing injuries after she was reportedly forced to undergo FGM by her husband and his friends, in the cruelest way.

Hellen Wangui, 30, claims that her husband of 12 years joined a secret Kikuyu sect, which prohibits men to be with uncircumcised women.

Going by the rules of the sect, her husband then performed a ritual where he slaughtered a sheep in the company of other sect members, after which he demanded that she and her two daughters be circumcised.

The mother of two claims that she declined his demands, and even reported the matter to area sub-chief Mwangi Wandaro.

Unfortunately, her plea for help was dismissed. “He told me that I was not the first woman to be circumcised so I should just accept it for the sake of peace,” Wangui narrates.

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