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President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) and ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru join in a dance during the launch of Kenya Ni Mimi youth initiative at the Bomas of Kenya on December 7, 2020.

Kenya

Anonymous App to help end FGM in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 7- President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday said the government is considering adopting the use of technology in the fight against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) which is still practised in several communities in the country.

Despite a campaign and initiatives to discourage the practice, many communities in rural Kenya including Kisii and Maasai are still practising it.

On Monday, the president told a youth group at the Bomas of Kenya that the government was determined to end the traditional practice that has devastating long term effects on girls and women.

The President said this will include an application where such cases can be reported anonymously, including by victims who are mainly young girls.

Online applications are being used to report police excesses under the Internal Affairs Unit.

“We want to eliminated the vice of FGM by 2022,” he said. “We have made it clear where we find societies and communities encouraging the outdated practice, we will be taking action starting with the assistant chief. As leaders, all the way from the grassroots level, we must take responsibility,” President Kenyatta said at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi during the launch of Kenya Ni Mimi, a youth initiative.

The government has recently announced plans to include in those subjected to and at risk of FGM, religious leaders, traditional justice systems in FGM-practicing communities and other stakeholders into anti-FGM advocacy, to eliminate it by 2022.

“It is not the young people doing these things,” the President said, while throwing a challenge to the youth, to speak out against the vice.

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“With such information, we will take action so that we can allow our girls to be mature and productive human beings,” the president said, in response to a question by a participant at the launch of the youth initiative.

The President also spoke against Gender-Based Violence, urging men to always see women and girls as their equals and partners.

“You must be able to say that your wife is a partner not your slave or domestic helper. You change that mindset and start saying no and these things will come to an end,” the President said.

Recent statistics show that gender-based violence cases had shot up during the COVID-19 period.

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