In Kenya, girls returning from their school holidays in Narok are going to be examined to see if they have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM).
The directive, brought in by the county commissioner, is aimed at stopping FGM which is illegal but still continues in this part of Kenya.
Teachers are not convinced that forced inspections are helping.
Charles Ngeno from the Kenyan Union of Post Primary Education Teachers told BBC Focus on Africa radio that by the time the tests are done the “damage has already been done”.
He also expressed concern that the test could have the unintended consequence of stigmatising girls who have undergone FGM and cause further trauma.
Below are some World Health Organisation (WHO) facts about female genital mutilation:-
- Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
- The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women.
- Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.
- More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated.
- FGM is mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15.
- FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.