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Change a girl's life.

Causes of FGM

There is no ‘one’ answer for why FGM is practiced. FGM is practiced for a variety of reasons that can be broken down into 5 categories:


Reasons why FGM is Practiced Infographic by Mekuno Project. It reads: Psychosexual: To control women's sexuality, ensure they are virgins prior to marriage and stay faithful during marriage. Also said to increase male sexual pleasure.; Religious: No religion endorses FGM, but many believe it to be justified by Christian or Islamic doctrines.; Socio-Economic: Often a prerequisite for marriage and inheritance, it can also raise a girl's bride price, which is usually an economic necessity for survival.; Hygiene & Aesthetic: Some believe external female genitalia are dirty or ugly, and remove them to supposedly increase their hygiene and aesthetic appeal.; Sociological & Cultural: FGM is a rite of passage for girls into womanhood, where she becomes a part of the community. Also, there are several myths surrounding female genitalia that serve to perpetuate its practice.

Sometimes girls are cut for a single reason, and in other cultures, it is a combination of factors.


It is usually performed on girls from infancy up to age 15, and in many ethnic groups, the practice is nearly universal, making it almost impossible to say no. These girls don’t have the ability to give consent, and the consequences of undergoing FGM have lifelong negative consequences to their health and well-being.


Because FGM is rooted in multiple facets of society, it takes a multi-sectored approach to eliminate it.


That is why Mekuno Project is devoted to working with organizations on the ground who are focused on culturally appropriate interventions and initiatives to combat the root causes of FGM. By taking on this holistic approach, providing tools to all stakeholders within a community to raise awareness, improve livelihoods, and create opportunities, we allow girls the opportunity to pursue futures of their own design.


For more information on our work, check out the programs we support here.

For more information on FGM, check out our blogpost on it, as well as this UNFPA FAQ Guide.

Mekuno Project supports solutions that work. By connecting and funding projects that eliminate the root causes of FGM and child marriage in Kenya, the conditions are set for hope-filled futures to flourish.

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