Powerful Allies Convene to Accelerate Global Action to End Female Genital Mutilation
Kenya Works joined forces with the international community at two United Nations summits in October. The conferences gathered young leaders from across Africa to exchange ideas and innovations to accelerate efforts aimed at ending Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriage.
Benjamin Makori (L), Alal Okath and Ronoh Josphat (R) of Kenya Works join the UNFPA Harmful Practices Innovation Summit in Nairobi, Kenya. In a powerful gathering of innovative minds, leaders from 27 countries gathered to address the deeply entrenched social and cultural norms of female genital mutilation and child marriage. RIGHT: Kenya Works Program Coordinator Caroline Gitau participates in the 2nd International Conference on Female Genital Mutilation in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
"We were thrilled to represent Kenya Works at the Nairobi summit convened to exchange ideas and innovations to end harmful practices," said Kenya Works Social Worker Benjamin Makori. “We were so excited to interact with people from across 27 African countries–organizations and government representatives. It has been such a resource.”
"The Nairobi event aimed to develop new and existing innovations to bring a speedier end to harmful practices across Africa. A lot of the focus was on how to develop the work on the ground into social movements. So for example our Child Not Bride initiative could leverage one girl's story to reach into communities and homes and influence other families to put their daughters in a place of respect and not view them as property to barter away for goats," Makori explained.
Key facts about FGM
The practice of FGM is rooted in gender inequality and power imbalances, limiting opportunities for girls and women in health, education, income and equality.
Girls today are one-third less likely to be subjected to FGM compared to three decades ago; however, progress needs to be at least 10 times faster to meet the global target of FGM elimination by 2030.
Approximately $2.75 billion is required to eliminate FGM by 2030 in 31 priority countries, with a resource gap of about $2.1 billion.
52 million girls and women underwent FGM at the hands of healthcare personnel, indicating a growing medicalization of the practice.
Girls whose mothers have primary education are 40% less likely to undergo FGM than those whose mothers have no education.
Early intervention is crucial, as FGM is increasingly performed on the youngest girls.
Source: the United Nations Population Fund
"I can't forget our interactions with UN agencies in Kenya including UN Women, UNFPA and UNICEF as well as Plan International and the Kenya Anti-FGM Board. I see more and expanded opportunities to accelerate our Kenya Works impact through this summit," he concluded.
We need to increase investments in women’s and girls’ equality to meet the SDG goals by 2030.
According to the UN’s Gender Snapshot 2023 report, if the world is to achieve gender equality by the target date, an additional $360 billion per year is needed to achieve gender equality.
The entire plan is at risk when gender equality falls short.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals: the world’s plan to end poverty, reduce inequalities and tackle climate change.