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Monday, December 6, 2010

300 Girls to Undergo the Cut

December 6, 2010
Daily Nation
Philemon Suter

At least 270 girls are lined up for circumcision in Marakwet East and Pokot Central districts in the coming weeks.

Though the number of girls undergoing the rite of passage has significantly dropped over the past few years, most of them are taking part voluntarily.
After the cut, scores of the girls who may not proceed to secondary school, will be married off to already waiting suitors after coming out of seclusion in mid-January next month.
A crusader against female circumcision, Ms Lilian Plapan of Setat Women’s Group, has called for an end to the practice.
“We want chiefs in the respective villages to stop the cut since the lives of young girls are going to be wasted,” she said.
Mrs Plapan, who visited Propoi Girls Secondary School at the weekend, urged girls to identify the talents that they fit in and develop them through education.
About 74 girls in Kapsogom, Kachenyut, Kapchemila, Kakisoo, Tinyar and Kasui villages will be initiated in Kerio Valley from Friday.
Another 86 will be undergoing the rite in Sibou, Kotut, and Kapsiren villages in the second weekend of December. Another 100 in the far flung Arpolo, Embobut and Endo-Kaben locations in Pokot Central and Marakwet East will also join the queue.
Only 10 girls may be circumcised the same Friday in Kamariny and Karamwar villages neighbouring the home of local MP Linah Kilimo who campaigns against the rite.
“This year’s initiation would go on as scheduled given that traditional signs have been observed... these include the position of stars, the weather pattern and the year’s harvest,” said Mzee Kipkaino Wero-Merei, 71.
“Most of those lined up to face the knife fled their homes to rescue centres in 2006 for fear of being circumcised by force but are now willing,” said another opponent of the circumcision, Ms Rose Kilimo.
Apart from curiosity to graduate into womanhood, Ms Kilimo, claimed the girls opted to get circumcised in a bid to please their parents after engaging them in four years of rebellion.
Ms Kilimo said: “This lot comprises the 2010 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education candidates who have come of age and would want to be loyal to their parents”
Some parents had quietly vowed not to pay even a cent for secondary school fees to any girl who refused to undergo the old age custom of circumcision.