Africa Update: Female genital cutting, an ancient practice, declining in Kenya and elsewhere

The New York Times reports today on a comprehensive new assessment by the United Nations Children’s Fund that “the ancient practice of female genital cutting (circumcision) has found a gradual but significant decline in many countries, even in some where it remains deeply entrenched.”

  • Teenage girls are now less likely to have been circumcised than older women
  • Two-thirds of older women say the practice should continue, while two-thirds of younger women disagree
  • Steepest decline is in Kenya, where efforts to stop it began in the 1990s
Nosim Home Rescue Center Kenya

Students at home in the Nosim Home rescue center in Nairobi, Kenya

The Nosim Home in Nairobi, Kenya is a rescue center and a place of safety from early marriage for girls who want to complete their education, put off marriage until they are older, and reject the practice of female circumcision.

“Nosim” is a Maasai word that means sanctuary, a place of safety. That is exactly what Nosim Home is for many young women. It is common in this culture for young girls (sometimes as young as five years old) to be pulled out of school for circumcision and marriage.

In cases where they are being forced into marriage with much older men, these girls may be kidnapped. The Nosim Home rescue center is the only hope for many young women in Kenya.

Nosim Home is sponsored and funded by Nosim Maasai Mission, a tax-deductible Christian charity directed by Nancy Manor and located in Highland, IL.

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About Rob Bartlett

Board Chairman for Nosim Maasai Mission
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