1. Its few minutes to our Conference today, let us all get ready as we discuss extensively. #endcuttinggirls
  2. Our topic is “Alternative rites of passage as a strategy for ending FGM/C: Experiences from other countries. #endcuttinggirls
  3. Questions will be asked at the end of the session by 6pm. Prepare your questions as we believe to tackle them all. #endcuttinggirls
  4. To understand this better, I will give background information of FGM/C to aid us flow with the conference.
  5. Afterwards we talk on rites of passage before we extensively discuss the alternative rites of passage and experiences from the countries that practice it. #endcuttinggirls.
  6. FGM/C is an acronym for female genital mutilation and cutting. #endcuttinggirls
  7. It is “any partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury to the female genital organ for non-medical reasons”. #endcuttinggirls.
  8. FGM/C is carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15, and occasionally on adult women. #endcuttinggirls.
  9. There are effects of FGM/C on the girl child. They includes; severe bleeding, vaginal infections,. #endcuttinggirls.
  10. Urinary tract infections, pain during sex, painful menstrual cycle, infertility and in some cases death occurs. #endcuttinggirls
  11. These effects depend on the type performed, expertise of the practitioner, hygiene conditions, and amount of #endcuttinggirls.
  12. And finally the general health condition of the girl/woman undergoing the procedure. #endcuttinggirls.
  13. On the other hand, Rite of passage can be defined as a ceremony or event marking an important. #endcuttinggirls.
  14. stage in someone’s life, especially birth, the transition from childhood to adulthood. #endcuttinggirls.
  15. It can also be defined as a celebration of the passage which occurs when an individual leaves one group to enter another. #endcuttinggirls.
  16. Rites of passage usually involve ritual activities and teachings designed to strip individuals of their original roles and prepare them for new roles. #endcuttinggirls
  17. Examples includes FGM/C, land diving, hamar cow jumping, maasai lion hunt, vision quest, ogiek roar, aborigine walkabout, mentawai teeth sharpening, Fulani facial tattoos etc. #endcuttinggirls.
  18. There are three stages in this practice (rite of passage). #endcuttinggirls
  19. They includes; a) Separation b) Liminality c) and Incorporation. #endcuttinggirls.
  20. It has also been discovered that these rites of passage has some effects of which are psychological. #endcuttinggirls.
  21. These include cognitive dissonance, conformity among new members, and increase feelings of affiliation.
  22. Over the years, FGM/C has been a regular practice in this ritual “Rite of passage”. #endcuttinggirls
  23. Countries such as Kenya and Tanzania have been involved in this practice over the years. #endcuttinggirls
  24. Alternative rite of passage was then introduced in 2004-2005 by various international organisations. #endcuttinggirls
  25. This has an integral role to play in the abandonment of FGM/C under the Children’s Act of 2001. #endcuttinggirls.
  26. And also the retraining of traditional circumcisers for alternative professions such as midwifery. #endcuttinggirls.
  27. Alternative rite of passage is rather called “Circumcision by words”. #endcuttinggirls
  28. The word circumcision was used because the Kenyans referred to mutilation/cutting as circumcision.
  29. In 2004, after so many years of campaigning, alternative rite of passage ( workshop classes) was held instead of the normal cutting/mutilation. #endcuttinggirls.
  30. 200 girls were brought together from the district of Kuria(Kenya) to attend workshops instead of being mutilated. #endcuttinggirls
  31. On their way home, however, most of those girls were mutilated on that same day fulfilling their rite of passage. #endcuttinggirls.
  32. This however, wasn’t discouraging as the “alternative rite of passage” has been in some countries like Kenya and Tanzania.
  33. In Kenya, maasai and Esiteteti (at the foot of Kilimanjaro) community has embraced this practice. #endcuttinggirls.
  34. In Tanzania, samburu community has also embraced this practice.
  35. Briefly, we will look at the experience shared from the practice in massai community of Kenya and its positive effects. #endcuttinggirls .
  36. And also lessons learnt from the samburu community in Tanzania. #endcuttinggirls
  37. In massai and samburu, classes are first held for the girls about their bodies and their rights as women then the celebration. #endcuttinggirls.
  38. The celebration however includes a mixture of milk and honey poured over the girl’s heads before dishes. #endcuttinggirls.
  39. The mixture is poured on them by the elders accompanied by blessings from the elders too. #endcuttinggirls.
  40. This is then tagged the “bath of milk and honey” rather than “Genital mutilation and cutting”.
  41. Songs and dances are then shared and the girls are left whole and uncut. #endcuttinggirls.
  42. Girls in the massai and samburu are taught on womanhood,sex education. #endcuttinggirls
  43. STDs, Violence against women and presentations on the importance of women’s Education.
  44. Peter N. Nguura of United for Body Rights said “To eradicate FGM/C, a public denouncement of the practice must be done. #endcuttinggirls.
  45. Also, the men will also accept to marry women who haven’t gone through the procedure. #endcuttinggirls.
  46. This is hence added in those communities during the alternative rite of passage ceremony. #endcuttinggirls.
  47. Jacinta Muteshi-Strachan,project director of the FGM/C research program for the population council said, #endcuttinggirls
  48. For Alternative rite of passage to replace FGM/C, the communities must be accepting.
  49. This including the chiefs, elders,fathers and mothers,even the traditional leaders. #endcuttinggirls
  50. The Kenyan- massai community experience took six or more meetings before a communityagress to abandon FGM. #endcuttinggirls.
  51. In some cases, a certificate is issued out to the girl child declaring they had completed the alternative rite of passage. #endcuttinggirls.
  52. An example of the certificate presentation was carried out in Esititeti community in August,2013. #endcuttinggirls.
  53. This ceremony has replaced the practice of FGM/C in these communities and can also be inculcated in countries where the practice of FGM/C is still in existence. #endcuttinggirls
  54. The experiences of the Kenyans and Tanzanians are worth emulating. #endcuttinggirls
  55. I will halt my tweets and allow questions from all of us. #endcuttinggirls.