Lead Author: MUKABI Fredrick
Published by: International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences
Year published: 2022

Female Genital Mutilation is widespread in Kenya and globally. With it come myths and misconceptions creating misinformation on the practice to stigmatize against ‘the uncut’. Reports by global agencies and scholars have delved into the topic and findings suggests a lacuna in this cultural practice. Deeper understanding of misconceptions promoting the practice through stereotyping and stigmatization concerns this research. The United Nations put in place efforts to create global awareness through a dedicated day, ‘The Int ernational Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation’, first marked in 2003. The Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (2020) reports the national its prevalence at 21%, despite stakeholder efforts. Nevertheless, communities practicing FGM argue o f more than just ‘the cut’ hence their stigma justification. The paper aims at unravelling misinformation about FGM through investigating how knowledge levels contribute to its prevalence in Kenya; demystifying myths and misconceptions around the practice; evaluating the efforts by agencies in the campaign against FGM; and also establishing alternative knowledge sharing mechanisms on the FGM practices. Using mixed approaches in data collection and reports collating, the researchers established that the practice in communities is highly stigmatized and those not initiated were deemed social misfits. Much ground had been covered in demystification of the practice while much remains shrouded in cultural mystery. Significance is attached to the practice across generations and the initiation process is also considered an opportunity to pass over cultural values. Alternative approaches towards understanding FGM could grant further research into communities maintaining valuable cultural aspects while shunning ‘the cut’ for being retrogressive.