Kenyan Court Upholds Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

The high court ruling will give a much-needed boost to the fight to end the widely condemned practice of female genital mutilation in the East African nation, women's rights groups have said. One in five Kenyan women and girls aged between 15 and 49 years have undergone FGM, which usually involves the partial or total removal of the clitoris. Kenya outlawed the practice a decade ago, with perpetrators receiving a three-year jail term and a U.S.$2,000 fine. However, the practice persists as some communities see it is necessary for social acceptance and increasing their daughters' marriage prospects. The ruling dismissed a petition by a Kenyan doctor who argued the anti-FGM law was unconstitutional as it violated the right of adult women to practice their cultural beliefs and do what they wanted with their bodies, writes Nita Bhalla for Thompson Reuters Foundation.


Knives used for female genital mutilation (file photo).

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