FGM movements and discussions (Kenya example)

  • Mbaja
  • Mbaja's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Regular forum user
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 1
  • Likes received: 12

FGM movements and discussions (Kenya example)

Note by moderator: this post used to be in another thread on menstrual hygiene management (see: forum.susana.org/283-theme-2-infrastruct...r-all?start=12#21165 ) but has now been moved to here.
++++++++++

Bella, I couldn't agree with you more, the on-going movement in MHM will definitely yield fruits in the next few years. I think FGM movements and discussions just started like this, though the fight against FGM has not been full worn but we have come along way and many our cultures are working through letting go the practice.

Infrastructural barrier is the priority at the moment, the more girls and women are be able to manage their menses in a dignified manner the more they will feel comfortable to discuss such a subject that is so much associated with shame and embarrassment.
You need to login to reply
  • muench
  • muench's Avatar
  • Moderator
  • Freelance consultant (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer)
  • Posts: 2034
  • Karma: 42
  • Likes received: 611

Re: Addressing infrastructural barriers to MHM in schools to support inclusive and quality learning for all

Dear Mbaja,

Interesting that you mention the similarities with the taboos around FGM (female genital mutilation). Could you expand a bit what you meant when you said:

I think FGM movements and discussions just started like this,


I see some similarities in the two "issues" and have written about it here in a previous thread:
forum.susana.org/component/kunena/257-fe...-links-to-sanitation
(in case you hadn't seen the sub-category on FGM yet, it is here: forum.susana.org/component/kunena/257-female-genital-mutilation )

Regards,
Elisabeth

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant
Community manager of this forum via SEI
(see: www.susana.org/en/resources/projects/details/127 )
Wikipedian, co-founder of WikiProject Sanitation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Sanitation

Location: Frankfurt, Germany
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Twitter: @EvMuench, website:...
You need to login to reply
  • Mbaja
  • Mbaja's Avatar
    Topic Author
  • Regular forum user
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 1
  • Likes received: 12

Re: Addressing infrastructural barriers to MHM in schools to support inclusive and quality learning for all

Dear Elisabeth,

Thank you for the information on the discussion on link between MHM and FGM, I hadn't seen that thread before.
What I meant by the similarities in the taboos is that; most cultures would see FGM as a rite of passage and not a mutilation in any case. When FGM campaign was first introduced in Mt. Elgon a (community near my village) everyone was so annoyed by the western definition of such an important rite of passage as 'mutilation'. The reality is; communities viewed FGM as nothing harmful but a very important practice and women would champion for it, I even had friends who were really looking forward to the ‘cut’ because it will symbolized that they have grown into womanhood. The rest of us whose culture did not practice such we are considered as kids and not mature women.
However, with time and years of campaigns, sensitizations and information about the impact of such rites of passage on women has enabled the communities see it as what it is and the cases of FGM are dropping and even women were initiators of the cut are now champions for anti FGM. That’s how I feel about MHM too, for years our communities’ related menstruation with being impure, a time for seclusion and cleansing and purification thereafter, there are so may superstitions linked with this. I am so positive that with efforts on sensitization of communities on such superstitions and how it impacts on the health and lives of women there will be a break through and women can have and manage their menstruation with dignity.
I think the most important thing is to have tailor made approaches for different communities because the practices are very different and we also have to be very sensitive on how we define issues in the communities. To be honest, when I go back to my community and even when I end up in conversation discussing FGM I would be very careful not to refer to it as FGM because community do not see it as a mutilation but just an ‘important cut’. So I would rather talk to them about ‘the cut' and how it affects lives and health’s of women. Immediately you mention to my community that FGM is harmful to women, they just switch off and are looking to you as a very 'westernized' member of the community who has no respect and do not value the culture. I think by looking at issues from the community point of view and understanding the angle of the issue will be very beneficial in efforts to eradicate such taboos and practices.
The following user(s) like this post: Mintje
You need to login to reply
Share this thread:
Time to create page: 0.451 seconds