By Waiswa Wafula
Five women aged between 25 and 35 have been hospitalized and receive treatment at Longisa County Referral Hospital in Bomet County after undergoing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
According to Alfred Orwasa, Cheboin location chief, the five women were rescued after the authorities received a tip-off from members of the public.
Although 2 other women ran away during the raid, an 80 year old woman, Elizabeth Baliach who performed the cut on the five girls was arrested by the police and her tools of trade taken. She is set to appear at the Bomet Law Courts after investigations are completed.
Also read: Protecting the Kenyan Girl from FGM
On the 17th of March 2021, the high court upheld a ban on FGM in a landmark ruling welcomed by campaigners against the condemned practice. However the practice still continues even after being criminalized in 2011.
With a minimum punishment of 3 years imprisonment and a fine of Ksh. 215,000, some communities still persist on the practice being necessary for social acceptance and increasing their daughters’ marriage prospect.
The petition seeking to legalize FGM on the grounds that an adult woman should have the freedom to do so as they please with their bodies and the ban is unconstitutional.
Tata Kamau, a doctor said that women were being harassed and arrested for undergoing FGM as she brought the petition in 2017.
“We find it that limiting this right is reasonable in an open and democratic society based on the dignity of women. The amended petition is devoid of merit and hereby dismissed.” Said Judge Lydia Achode.
“I am disappointed!” expressed Kamau as she accepted the verdict.
The condemned ritual is still practiced in 27 African countries, parts of Asia and Middle East.
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