Today is International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. ActionAid’s work in ending the practice of female genital mutilation has a lasting impact. ActionAid work closely with men and women to educate people about the damaging effects to women. Tonight, thanks to ActionAid and a very brave lady, I want to hand my blog over to Christine, from Kenya and let her tell her story.
“My mother and brothers said it was the only thing for my future. When it had been done to me and I was in seclusion, an old man came to my brothers and gave him 15 cows to marry me.
“When the time came for the marriage ceremony his relatives and some guards carried me away. I didn’t want to go and cried. The old man had a wife before me too. She was much older and just treated me like one of her children.
“On my first night in the house with the old man we were left alone together. He forced himself on me and I felt so much pain that I cried. The other wife was waiting at the door and he asked her to come in so that she could make me bigger using a cow’s horn. The eldest daughter of the man also came in to help. It was very shaming and I felt sad afterwards.”
Every time I read a story like this I feel a violent and overwhelming range of emotion. It is time to stop turning a blind eye.
ActionAid helped Christine when she escaped the house, they found her a school place and supported her through educating her family and community into accepting the wrongdoing.
ActionAid need your support to make a long term impact.