Published by: Population Council
Year published: 2020

Criminalization is an important aspect of anti-FGM/C policies and programs. In countries where FGM/C is practiced, the enactment of a law prohibiting the practice is an important indicator of progress toward abandonment. Criminalization is often seen as playing an important role in the declining prevalence of FGM/C. However, there is not much research on the link between the enactment of laws that prohibit and criminalize FGM/C and declining prevalence of the practice. The objectives of this study, therefore, were to assess the extent to which people obey the law on FGM/C; to investigate the reasons and causes that motivate people born into a tradition of FGM/C to obey or not to obey a law prohibiting FGM/C; and to establish the legal, policy, and program responses, across varying contexts, that would most effectively reduce the practice of FGM/C. The study was conducted in Kenya, where FGM/C is criminalized under the 2001 Children’s Act and the 2011 Prohibition of FGM Act.