In advance of tomorrow’s International Day of the Girl, Equality Now urges you to take action to protect girls who are fleeing threats of female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage in Kenya. The Pokot region, especially, has had a high number of reports of girls running away from home or refusing to return home from school during the August and December holidays, when mass mutilations are performed. Despite the existence of Kenyan laws against FGM and child marriage, it is clear that they are not being implemented in the region to protect girls.
-Elizabeth from Churo village ran away from parents who planned to subject her to FGM and marry her off. She found refuge with an aunt for a while, but was forced to flee again when her father tried to forcibly return her home. She walked for three days before finding refuge at a rescue center for girls.
-Alsine from Tangulbei village was pulled out of school by her parents at age 14 and subjected to FGM to ‘prepare her for marriage.’ She ran away twice, and finally found shelter at a rescue center for girls where she is once again attending school.
Please join Equality Now and our Kenyan partners, the Women Rights Institute for Peace and the Tasaru Ntomonok Initiative, in calling on the national government of Kenya and the local Pokot government to take immediate action to protect and support girls who are at-risk, and to effectively implement laws against FGM and child marriage. In addition, join our call for a system of child protection within at-risk communities to protect girls from both these harmful practices, and to ensure that they are able to continue their education.
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