Published by: Population Council
Year published: 2020

Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is considered a harmful cultural practice and a form of violence against women. Kenya has an FGM/C prevalence rate of 21 percent, but levels vary by ethnic group. Kenya has adopted a robust legal framework for the prohibition of FGM/C, including passage of the Prohibition of FGM Act in 2011, a detailed law that criminalizes carrying out FGM/C and associated offenses. Kenya relies on the human rights–based approach and criminalization in its legal framework for the prohibition of this practice. Despite extensive legal provisions, Kenya has prosecuted fewer than 100 cases, raising concerns with the law’s enforcement. This commentary reflects consultations with key actors regarding results of the Evidence to End FGM/C Research Program’s study assessing the role of law in reducing the practice in Kenya. Expert opinions on the implementation of Kenya’s anti-FGM/C law and potential areas for strengthening this approach have been collated to outline recommendations on how the legal framework for the prohibition of FGM/C in Kenya can be strengthened to better contribute toward abandonment of the practice.