18-Year-Old Woman Rescued From Circumcisers In Meru

By David Muchui

An 18-year-old woman from Kautine in Igembe North was on Saturday rescued from forced Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

The incident comes amid rising concern over rampant cases of FGM in Igembe North despite an intensified crackdown on the vice.

Speaking to journalists at Laare Police Station, the woman said she escaped narrowly from her three female neighbours.

“They wrestled me to the ground and stripped me naked. They vowed to circumcise me by force. I was rescued by a neighbour who helped me report the matter to the police. They have threatened to have me circumcised should I return home,” she said.

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The woman said she sustained injuries during the struggle.

Meru County Maendeleo ya Wanawake treasurer and an Anti-FGM crusader Jeniffer Kathure called on police to move with speed and arrest the suspects.

“Were it not for the man who came to the rescue of the girl, she could have been cut,” Ms Kathure said.

She said the vice is still entrenched in Igembe due to retrogressive cultural beliefs. Ms Kathure said those practising FGM have been doing it at night to evade arrest.

This comes a week after four women were arrested at Athimba in Igembe South after circumcising an 18-year-old woman.

 The suspects, including the victim’s sister, grandmother and the circumciser claimed that the woman’s deceased mother had left a wish that all her daughters must be cut.


Athimba Assistant Chief Isaac Wachira said he was informed of the incident after the girl underwent the cut at around 3 am.

In November, the police in Igembe North, Meru County, rescued a Class, Seven girls, before she underwent FGM.

Several cases of FGM have been reported in the county this year. Last month, three schoolgirls were rescued from a house in Mwiyo Igembe Central after undergoing the cut. The police have mounted a search for parents of the three primary school pupils.

In September, a woman underwent the cut in Igembe North. Her husband, who is said to have organised the act, is at large.

In the same month, five women from Imenti Central were sentenced to three years in jail by a Githongo court for undergoing FGM.

In March this year, the Federation of Women Lawyers and Njuri Ncheke elders unveiled a monument in Laare, Igembe North in honour of 14-year-old Jelida Gaichuiri who died after undergoing FGM last year.

Meru is among 22 counties most affected by FGM. During an anti-FGM forum in November, Njuri Ncheke elders vowed to end FGM by 2022.

Source: Daily Nation

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