1 in 5
girls in Kenya undergo either female genital mutilation (FGM) or child marriage.
However, as many as
9 in 10
girls in some ethnic groups in Kenya are victims of these practices (UNICEF).
In the areas where we work, FGM is seen as a prerequisite for marriage, with girls undergoing the practice between the ages of .
9 to 12
But by addressing the root causes of these harmful practices:
How do we know? We’ve already done it.
Who We Are
Mekuno Project is a coalition and fund dedicated to eliminating the root causes of FGM and child marriage in Kenya and creating the conditions for girls to flourish in futures they design.
What We Tackle
Female genital mutilation and child marriage are internationally recognized forms of gender-based violence. FGM and child marriage have life-long impacts on girls, their families and their communities. This limits their access to educational and economic opportunities, and are more likely to experience severe health issues, especially when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth.
Why It Happens
These harmful traditional practices continue due to a combination of factors including extreme poverty, cultural norms, and lack of education. Often, girls are married early in order to obtain a bride price for their families to alleviate extreme poverty. Girls who undergo FGM can fetch a higher bride price, or at times won’t be eligible to marry at all without undergoing the practice due to a combination of social and cultural factors.
How We Do It
By adopting a holistic approach, FGM and child marriage can be eliminated. Through quality education, child protection and voice, community transformation, and economic empowerment, we can address the root causes of FGM and child marriage.
Who We Work With
We achieve this change by working with an ecosystem of stakeholders: girls and boys, families and households, communities and government.
We can end these harmful practices by 2030. We can do it if we all work together to eliminate the root causes of FGM and child marriage, working with all stakeholders in a community to succeed. In fact, this approach has already been proven successful, with communities going from 95% prevalence of FGM to less than 10% in less than 20 years.