Effects of Female Genital Mutilation on the Girl Child’s Social Life among the Ameru Community of Kenya (Published)
Since the ban of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Kenya, the Ameru community continues the practice in spite of the associated stigma and adverse effects on the initiates. Basically, FGM involves the partial removal, total removal or alteration of girls’ or women’s genitalia which in effect disorients the initiates’ social lives in terms of marriage; relationships; social Interactions; personal advancement and denial of essential rights such as education. To this end, this study sought to determine the effects of FGM on the girl child’s social life among the Ameru community of Kenya. The study adapted the descriptive survey research design on a sample size of 481 respondents comprising of 408 initiated girls, 48 health workers, 3 social workers and 30 Focus Group Discussion members selected by use of snow ball sampling and purposive sampling techniques. Data were collected using questionnaires, interview schedules and Focus Group Discussion schedules. The data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 17.0. Descriptive statistics including means, frequencies, percentages and standard deviations were used to analyze the data. The findings indicated that FGM hindered the initiated girls from exploiting their full potential and competencies due to social withdrawal, limited interactions and lack of involvement in many career opportunities occasioned by early marriages. Thus, it was recommended that the government, nongovernmental organizations as well as other stakeholders should advocate for community activities that foster an enabling environment for collective social change towards FGM social convention shift and contribute to an improvement in the wellbeing of initiated girls and women in the Ameru community.