Kenya bans female genital mutilation

legalKenya has become the latest African country to ban female genital mutilation (girls' circumcision), with the passing of a law making it illegal to practise or procure it or take somebody abroad for cutting.

The law even prohibits derogatory remarks about women who have not undergone FGM. Offenders may be jailed or fined, or both.

FGM is a traditional practice that may cause severe physical, psychological and sexual problems for the victims, who are usually circumcized at a young age. Nobody imagines this means FGM will never take place again in Kenya, but making it illegal is a massive step towards changing attitudes and giving strength to those who oppose the practice. In nine countries (including some of those where it is illegal) FGM is still widely practised. In Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan, 85% of women undergo mutilation. 

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