Circumcision hospitalises Kenyan girls
Tuesday, 30 October, 2001, 18:28 GMT Parents took their girls for circumcision during school hours to avoid detection By Muliro Telewa in Nairobi

Women's workers in Kenya have said that 21 girls have been admitted to hospital with serious infections resulting from female circumcision rituals.

The chairwoman of the Kitale branch in western Kenya of the Education Centre for Women in Democracy, Naomi Okul, said 16 girls had been hospitalised locally.

Another five had been sent to the Moi Referral hospital in Eldoret, 400 km west of Nairobi.

Efforts to criminalise female genital mutilation in Kenya have proved unsuccessful.


Mrs Okul said the girls were recovering from their ordeal, but some had developed serious complications.

"The traditional operators used dirty knives and most of the girls have infections in their wounds," she said.

Reports from West Pokot District, where Kitale is located, say the girls were aged between nine and 14.

Mrs Okul, said most of the girls were forced out of school by their parents to be circumcised.

The ritual is normally performed during school holidays but parents in West Pokot handed their daughters over secretly on school days to evade government interference.

A local women's non-governmental organisation has spent over Sh800,000 ($10,000) on the girl's medical expenses.

Kenyan girls win circumcision ban

Wednesday, 13 December, 2000, 15:51 GMT

Case could heighten war against female circumcision For the first time in Kenya, two teenage schoolgirls have won a court order preventing their father from forcing them to undergo female genital mutilation, traditionally known as circumcision.

A court in Rift Valley Province issued a permament injunction on their father, Pius Kandie, stopping him from allowing his daughters - 17-year-old Ednah and 15-year-old Beatrice - to undergo the process without their consent.

The magistrate Daniel Ochenja ordered the father to continue providing financial support for the girls, who are still living in the family home.

The order has been welcomed by human rights activists as an important step towards ending the practice, which remains widespread in much of rural Kenya.

Historic case

The Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Kenya helped the girls bring the case.

The girls' lawyer, Ken Wafula, has termed the case historic saying it would encourage other girls in the province, who are forced into circumcision, to make a stand against the practice.

He told the BBC that the two sisters considered the practice outdated and repugnant to justice and morality in the 21st century.

The human rights group says girls from the Kalenjin tribe are normally subject to circumcision and immediately forced into sexual activities or marriage.

This, says Mr Wafula, disrupts their academic growth, exposes them to unwanted pregnancies and the deadly disease, Aids.