Co-Author(s): BABU, Paul Kelvin
Published by: International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications
Year published: 2023

The practice of female genital mutilation, or FGM, is still firmly ingrained in society and has a significant impact on local economies. FGM is not just a cultural or traditional ritual in places where it is common, like some parts of Kenya; it also reflects underlying economic circumstances. FGM is frequently seen by low-income households as a means of improving their financial situation. This is due to the fact that FGM is frequently associated in these societies with females being more marriable and, consequently, with possible financial advantages like bride price. Because of this, families are more inclined to continue this practice in the hopes of stability or financial gain, particularly those in lower income categories. This economic aspect complicates matters further and shows that attempts to end FGM cannot be limited to modifying cultural attitudes. This research explores the influence of household economy on the prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Samburu County, Kenya, addressing a significant gap in understanding the economic underpinnings of this practice. While numerous studies have investigated the cultural, religious, and social aspects of FGM, few have delved into how economic factors, particularly household income, influence its prevalence. This study offers a unique perspective on the motivations behind FGM, highlighting the complex interplay between income and cultural practices. The findings reveal that poverty and perceived economic benefits of FGM significantly contribute to its prevalence in Samburu County. Most respondents indicated that poorer households are more likely to endorse FGM, suggesting that economic strains may drive communities to cling to or enhance traditional practices seen as economically advantageous. The study recommends implementing initiatives that integrate economic empowerment programs to alleviate poverty and create income opportunities, particularly for women. These should be complemented by culturally sensitive education campaigns and support services for at-risk women and girls. This comprehensive approach is essential for effectively tackling the persistent issue of FGM in regions with similar socio-economic dynamics.