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‘The clitoris is divine, FGM impairs childbearing,’ activist cleric tells court

“Cutting the clitoris impairs the necessary organs for birth canal and limits sexual pleasure,” Rev Njoya told Justices Lydia Achode, Kanyi Kimondo and Margret Muigai./FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 5 – Reverend Timothy Njoya, a vocal retired priest of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa Thursday implored a bench of three judges against legalizing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

Rev Njoya told Justices Lydia Achode, Kanyi Kimondo and Margret Muigai that the practice is not only harmful but retrogressive.

He urged the court to deny a petition filed by a medical doctor Tatu Kamau seeking to decriminalize FGM.

“There should be no law in place that allows a human being to damage her body,” Njoya said.

Njoya, an Executive Director of Men for the Equality of Men and Women, a Nairobi-based nongovernmental organization told the court that the clitoris which is interfered with during mutilation is divine and should not be touched.

“Cutting the clitoris impairs the necessary organs for birth canal and limits sexual pleasure,” he added.

Culturally, the preacher said, the practice is used as a tool by men to govern and control women.

Those who still practice FGM, the court heard, do it out of ignorance.

“If they had the right information about the negative effects of the practice, they would abandon it,” added Njoya.

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He told the court genital mutilation has no benefit.

Njoya has written several books on FGM in honor of his late mother who declined to undergo the then common rite of passage on January 5, 1925, when it was introduced among Kikuyus.

Dr Kamau who has held several high-level positions at Ministry of Health wants women above the age of 18 allowed the discretion to undergo FGM.

She insists Kenya’s 2011 ban on FGM is unconstitutional and discriminatory against “national heritage”.

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