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Female genital mutilation of Somali diaspora in Kenya on the rise

More and more Somalis living abroad are bringing their daughters to Kenya to have them undergo female genital mutilation despite the illegality of the practice in Kenya and their host nations



Western Somalis are travelling to Kenya to have their daughters undergo Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) privately with families paying up to $300 for the illegal practice.

The Somali diaspora is reportedly flocking to the Eastleigh district in Nairobi due to the area’s large Somali presence. With FGM having being banned in the West, more and more families are making their journey to Kenya just for this reason.

“Somalis come from America and Europe. They always come to me because they are scared to do it there … During the holidays, they come and I cut them,” remarked an elderly circumciser.

In Kenya, FGM is illegal and carries a minimum of a three-year jail term or a fine, and life imprisonment if the girl dies. In the United States and Britain, FGM was banned in 1996 and 1985 respectively.


Source: Thomas Reuters Foundation